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Nathacha Appanah

Author of The Last Brother

11 Works 568 Members 51 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Works by Nathacha Appanah

The Last Brother (2007) 349 copies
Tropic of Violence (2016) 80 copies
Waiting for Tomorrow (2015) 48 copies
Blue Bay Palace (2003) 24 copies
The Sky Above the Roof (2019) 24 copies
La noce d'Anna (2005) 13 copies
Rien ne t'appartient (2021) 8 copies
UNE ANNÉE LUMIÈRE (2018) 7 copies
La mémoire délavée (2023) 7 copies
Le rocce di Poudre d'Or (2003) 6 copies

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Common Knowledge

Legal name
Pathareddy Appanah, Nathacha Devi
Other names
Appanah-Mouriquand, Nathacha
Birthdate
1973-05-24
Gender
female
Nationality
Mauritius
Country (for map)
France
Birthplace
Mauritius
Places of residence
Paris, France
Occupations
journalist

Members

Reviews

As World War II starts to wind down, Raj, a 9-year-old living in poverty in Mauritius, knows nothing about the war or, it seems, anything else outside of his immediate experience; given that survival for his family is a day-to-day matter, it’s hardly a surprise. One day he is badly beaten and is taken to the hospital of a nearby prison camp where his father is a guard. There he meets David, a boy his own age. David, we learn (though Raj doesn’t until later), is a refugee, one of a group of Jews whose escape from Nazi Germany ended in their extended internment in this camp in Mauritius. A highly destructive island-wide storm allows David to escape with Raj's help. Eventually, the boys flee into the forest which leads in turn to the central tragedy of the story. The story is told by the aging Raj through recollection, interspersed with current-day reflections on aging and (particularly on) loss. I enjoyed this more than I expected and found that the book resonated…and has stayed with me. Recommended.… (more)
½
 
Flagged
Gypsy_Boy | 40 other reviews | Aug 24, 2023 |
An interesting lesson, and not a bad story in its bones (though a bit maudlin), but far too long. It explains itself too much, repeats and fills and drags itself too much. I think cutting fully half the writing would turn this into a powerful short story.
2.5
 
Flagged
Kiramke | 40 other reviews | Jun 27, 2023 |
In September of 1940 a European ship filled with Jewish refugees was denied entry into Palestine. They were without entry permits and the British sent them to a detainee camp on the Island of Mauritius. This short, poignant, book tells this story through the memories of a native man who befriended another boy, who was in this camp.

When Raj, our narrator, first sees David he is confused as to why the young boy is in jail. Lacking language skills to communicate, their eyes and hand signals draw them into a beautiful relationship built on the innocence of childhood.

Nathacha Appanah was born and lived in Mauritius most of her life. Her vivid descriptions of the landscape on the island drew me in to the point where I could feel the wind, and hear the rustle on forest floor.

This book won't be for everyone. The sadness and despair was strong enough to prevent me from reading too much at one time. At only 169 pages, it should have been a quick read-took me all month. Well worth the time, effort and sadness. Beautiful.
… (more)
 
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JBroda | 40 other reviews | Sep 24, 2021 |
Raj, the middle brother of three, lives with his parents in a hut in Mauritius during the 1940s until a bad storm kills his older and younger brother. His family moves halfway across the island to Beau-Bassin, where Raj’s father finds work as a prison guard, overseeing European Jewish exiles interned by the British after being turned away from Palestine. While there, Raj befriends a young boy exile named David, and together they escape the tyranny in their lives: an abusive father and prison, respectively. The story is told by a now 70-year old Raj as he visits the grave of his Jewish friend. Nice written and emotionally moving, 3.5 stars.… (more)
 
Flagged
skipstern | 40 other reviews | Jul 11, 2021 |

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Statistics

Works
11
Members
568
Popularity
#44,051
Rating
3.9
Reviews
51
ISBNs
61
Languages
11
Favorited
2

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