The Magic of Saida

The Magic of Saida

Book - 2012
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Descendent of an African slave and a Gujarati trader, Kamal Punja grew up in the ancient town of Kilwa, on the coast of East Africa. Kamal, who never knew his father, is given away by his mother to better his prospects. Years later, after a flourishing career as a doctor in Canada, he returns, in search of Saida, his childhood sweetheart.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, c2012.
ISBN: 9780385667142
Branch Call Number: FIC Vassa
Characteristics: 305 pages


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Jul 17, 2013

Good literary novel – perfect for book clubs. Interesting story of mixed-race characters in Zanzibar. Learned a great deal about life and culture in Tanzania.

gulamani Apr 11, 2013

A love story set in the context of colonialism and independence of East Africa. Also, race relations in the region well dramatized. Needs a second read to take it all in!

Oct 29, 2012

This novel sets its own pace for the reader as it weaves poetry and magic throughout the story. In addition to the story being told by Vassanji, the book is an excellent history of East Africa in the twentieth century, detailing the layering of races and religions over the base of the African population and the impact of this layering. In the end, the hero's return to Africa is most revealing in terms of his character and the consequences of his decisions. As usual, an excellent book from a wonderful author. This is a book to be reread.

debwalker Oct 12, 2012

"The Magic of Saida is the sort of novel that, upon finishing, one wants to immediately read again, to examine, to study just how Vasssanji works his narrative magic, and to allow oneself to savour it just that little bit longer." Robert J. Wiersema
Globe & Mail

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