Sweeping in scope, both historically and geographically, Vassanji weaves a rich tapestry of vivid characters (real and imagined) in a Kenya poised between colonialism and independence.Vikram Lall, like his adopted country, inhabits an 'in-between world': between the pull of his ancestral home in India and the Kenya he loves passionately; between his tragic past in Africa and an unclear future in Canada; between escape from political terror and a seemingly inevitable return home . . . a return that may cost him dearly.A master storyteller, Vassanji intertwines the political and the personal - the rise of the Mau Mau in the last days of colonialism looms large over a plot centring on two love stories and a deep friendship. The result is a sumptuous novel that brilliantly explores the tyranny of history and memory, and questions the individual's role and responsibility in lawless times.… (more)
"Who is the third who always walks beside you?" - TS ELIOT , The Waste Land "Neti, neti" (Not this, not that) - Brihadaranyaka Upanishad "Po pote niendapo anifauta" (Wherever I go he follows me) - Swahili riddle; answer; shadow
For my father - always vivid whose absence inspired
Njoroge who was also called William loved my sister Deepa; I was infatuated with another whose name I cannot utter yet, whose brother was another William; we called him Bill.
Here, hang on to this - Go, run, I will follow you...