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All Our Names

Mengestu, Dinaw (Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
All Our Names
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An unforgettable love story about a searing affair between an American woman and an African man in 1970s America and an unflinching novel about the fragmentation of lives that straddle countries and histories. All Our Names is the story of two young men who come of age during an African revolution, drawn from the safe confines of the university campus into the intensifying clamor of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, the friends are driven apart--one into the deepest peril, as the movement gathers inexorable force, and the other into the safety of exile in the American Midwest. There, pretending to be an exchange student, he falls in love with a social worker and settles into small-town life. Yet this idyll is inescapably darkened by the secrets of his past: the acts he committed and the work he left unfinished. Most of all, he is haunted by the beloved friend he left behind, the charismatic leader who first guided him to revolution and then sacrificed everything to ensure his freedom. Elegiac, blazing with insights about the physical and emotional geographies that circumscribe our lives, All Our Names is a marvel of vision and tonal command. Writing within the grand tradition of Naipul, Greene, and Achebe, Mengestu gives us a political novel that is also a transfixing portrait of love and grace, of self-determination and the names we are given and the names we earn.--Publisher's description.
Authors: Mengestu, Dinaw, 1978-
Title: All our names
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2014
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 255 p. ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Dinaw Mengestu
Notes: PAO
Summary: An unforgettable love story about a searing affair between an American woman and an African man in 1970s America and an unflinching novel about the fragmentation of lives that straddle countries and histories. All Our Names is the story of two young men who come of age during an African revolution, drawn from the safe confines of the university campus into the intensifying clamor of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, the friends are driven apart--one into the deepest peril, as the movement gathers inexorable force, and the other into the safety of exile in the American Midwest. There, pretending to be an exchange student, he falls in love with a social worker and settles into small-town life. Yet this idyll is inescapably darkened by the secrets of his past: the acts he committed and the work he left unfinished. Most of all, he is haunted by the beloved friend he left behind, the charismatic leader who first guided him to revolution and then sacrificed everything to ensure his freedom. Elegiac, blazing with insights about the physical and emotional geographies that circumscribe our lives, All Our Names is a marvel of vision and tonal command. Writing within the grand tradition of Naipul, Greene, and Achebe, Mengestu gives us a political novel that is also a transfixing portrait of love and grace, of self-determination and the names we are given and the names we earn.--Publisher's description.
ISBN: 9780385349987
038534998X
9780345805669
0345805666
9780385349994
Branch Call Number: FICTION MENGESTU 2014
Subject Headings: Students, Foreign United States Fiction African Americans Fiction Identity (Psychology) Fiction Alienation (Social psychology) Fiction Women social workers United States Fiction
Genre/Form: Psychological fiction
Topical Term: Students, Foreign
African Americans
Identity (Psychology)
Alienation (Social psychology)
Women social workers
LCCN: 2013031632
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From Library Staff

An unusual love story between a well-intentioned Midwestern social worker and her client, a mysterious man from Kampala posing as an exchange student to escape a complicated and tumultuous past.

An unforgettable love story about a searing affair between an American woman and an African man in 1970s America and an unflinching novel about the fragmentation of lives that straddle countries and histories.


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May 21, 2014
  • mythoughts rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I loved reading this book. The writing is beautiful and the story is engaging. Will definitely be checking out other books by this author.

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app05 Version Borgsjo Last updated 2014/10/29 13:43