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Gifts Paperback – November 1, 2000
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Duniya thought that marriage was a place she had been to twice already, but love was a palace she hadn't had the opportunity to set foot in before now. If what she and Bosaaso were doing was the beginning of a long courtship that might eventually lead to such a many-roomed mansion of love, so be it. So far she had only seen glimpses of it, in a rear-view mirror, in the eyes of a driver who wasn't a taxi driver.But love is not all Nuruddin has on his mind. He constantly reexamines the theme of gifts, from the personal gifting of one's body or heart to the impersonal "aid" bestowed by wealthy nations upon the poorer ones. But Gifts is hardly a political tract, for it consistently eschews the general in favor of the particular. In tracing Duniya's budding relationship with Bosaaso, Nuruddin not only tells the love story of two individuals but also etches a remarkable portrait of women in Somalia. The relationship between Duniya and Bosaaso is sweet, funny, and tender, but it is in her ties to her women friends and daughters that the book shines. As she learns to swim and drive, to stand up to her overbearing former in-laws and to trust her heart, it is within the context of an extended web of friends and family. Maps and Secrets expose the uglier aspects of war-torn Somalia; Gifts, on the other hand, offers its hidden strengths. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
A book to enjoy , don't miss it
I had to read this book for a college course and it was my least favorite out of the five African novels I've read so far. The entirety of the class (~20 people, professor included) did not enjoy the book. The main theme of the book is--as the title clearly states--gifts. The protagonist, Duniya, must learn how to give gifts to and accept gifts from the people around her while also learning the true meaning of gifts. Farah does not give subtle hints of symbolism or foreshadowing, instead opting to put everything right in front of your face. There is also no secondary theme in the novel. Several other plot points are quite confusing, including the shared dreams between Duniya and Bosasso. I was surprised to find out that this book was not one that he wrote originally in Somali, as many of the passages read as if they were translated to English. Farah does give a good understanding of the role tradition plays in Somali life, especially with his frame stories about the cow and Juxaa.
Perhaps Farah's work as a playwright is better than Gifts, as he is apparently well-praised for his plays. However, I wouldn't recommend this novel to anyone before suggesting books such as Segu, Half of a Yellow Sun, or Things Fall Apart.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
i still haven't received the book yet. horrible experience. finally i just had to borrow the book from library.Published on December 12, 2008 by Abdullah Abed
This book is not exactly what I would call a joy. You start reading it and you just can't wait to finish it. I found the whole novel dry and uninteresting. Read morePublished on June 16, 2004 by A .J. Casper
I read this book based on the glowing, 5 star reviews of others. I stopped reading the book 30 pages before the end. Read morePublished on April 5, 2000 by Brady Buchanan