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The Magic of Saida (Vintage Contemporaries) by [Vassanji, M.G.]
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The Magic of Saida (Vintage Contemporaries) Kindle Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Length: 322 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Vassanji’s (The Assassin’s Song, 2007) remarkable new novel is a magic trick that reveals how it’s performed while in process. It has an old-fashioned, Conradian narrative construct: while recovering from malaria or madness, Kamal Punja, the befuddled protagonist, tells his story to Martin Kigoma, a publisher who may well be an unreliable narrator. And the story is complex. Kamal is a golo, or half-caste, the son of an Indian father and an African mother who was raised in Kilwa, a coastal backwater in colonial Tanzania. He escaped and found success as a doctor in Edmonton, Canada. What may or may not be an ordinary midlife crisis has brought him back to his origins, and led him to track down his first love, an African girl named Saida. As Kamal relates the colonial history—the successive waves of occupation, degradation, resistance, and modernization of his beloved Kilwa and its surroundings—Vassanji’s tactile, occasionally sentimental prose amounts to the best sort of historical fiction because the history is integral to the story. Once the trick is completed, the magic must be shown for what it is: tragedy. Vassanji has won Canada’s Giller Prize twice. This book also seems bound for glory. --Michael Autrey

Review

Amazon.ca - Best 100 Books of 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 Vassanji works his narrative magic, and to allow oneself to savour it just that little bit longer. It’s simply baffling to me that such a book – that this book – appears on none of the major short lists this fall. It’s more than an oversight; it’s a crying shame.”
The Globe & Mail

“A gripping narrative . . . . [Vassanji’s] material is so compelling that he needs little more than to adopt the role of a chronicler . . . . A humble village, in the imagination of this chronicler, becomes a vortex of varying belief systems and ways of life.”
—National Post

“M.G. Vassanji’s new novel offers an experience as mysterious and haunting as hearing the sudden beat of drums in the middle of the night. . . . The seductive power of Vassanji’s prose mesmerizes. . . . One of Canada’s best novelists . . . . Vassanji’s new novel is darker and far more complex than any of his previous books.”
—Quill & Quire

Product details

  • File Size: 3201 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (March 5, 2013)
  • Publication Date: March 5, 2013
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00985E39W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,288,036 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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