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When ejected from the car of the regional military governor, a menacing hyena in a black Mercedes, for rebuffing his advances, she proves equally brutal in visiting her humiliation on others. A complex history is often deftly sketched.

Wonder at independence "our first Somali textbooks, our first airline" gives way to the "five-point star on the flag" — the irredentist aspirations to unite a motherland sundered by colonial borders, that spell war first with Kenya then Ethiopia. Yet history is best revealed in haunting details. A schoolgirl thrown into an army truck "smells fresh, her skin and uniform so scrubbed with soap that her perspiration has the heady, detergent scent that wafts out of the dhobi -houses".

The Orchard of Lost Souls review | Gulfnews – Gulf News

In a hospital where nurses demand payment for painkillers, children give blood: "They are being bled dry. The soldier said they should be used like taps. Topics Nadifa Mohamed. Fiction reviews.

Nadifa Mohamed in conversation with Ellah Allfrey

They eventually released her—but not before torturing her so severely that she went mad. Shortly thereafter, she committed suicide.

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Today, Kawsar gets into trouble by physically intervening to protect a girl whom members of the security services are pummeling for forgetting her dance moves during a regime-sponsored rally at a sports stadium. Almost a decade later, Deqo joins a Hargeisa-based folk dance troupe for the promise of a pair of shoes she will receive following their performance before senior regime officials at the aforementioned state-sponsored rally.

Orchard of Lost Souls is a beautiful but violent novel set through the eyes of three Somali women

Deqo scrounges for food, picking fruit off the trees in private plots of land and selling them at the market. She sleeps sitting upright in an old barrel smelling faintly of kerosene, as it was recently used by other homeless people to light fires to warm themselves.

At one point, a young prostitute takes Deqo in and introduces her to the joys of hair care products. Eager to prove herself in the Internal Security Forces branch of the military, she becomes progressively more involved in its brutal counterinsurgency measures, despite pangs of remorse. She has worked in the publishing industry for the last 10 years as an editor.

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At present, she is a freelance copy editor and editorial consultant based in Houston, Texas, and specializes in academic editing in the humanities and social sciences. Enter your keywords.

Nadifa Mohamed: The Orchard of Lost Souls

Author s :. Nadifa Mohamed. Release Date:. March 4, Buy on Amazon. Reviewed by:.