- Series: Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction
- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press; 1st edition (January 31, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1558494774
- ISBN-13: 978-1558494770
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,074,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $26.99 shipping
Tropical Fish: Stories out of Entebbe (Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction) Hardcover – January 31, 2005
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
"Tropical Fish is extraordinary for a number of reasons. It follows the separate fates of sisters who begin their lives together in the town of Entebbe in Uganda. The prose is rich in specifics unknown to most of us, but what is truly dazzling is the way this brilliance of detail mounts into rare, subtle, surprising drama. These are memorable stories, fiercely fair, the work of a large talent."―Joan Silber, author of Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories
"Tropical Fish is an incandescence; it is a dream; it is a letter from a lover; it is a book of enormous beauty."―Junot Díaz, author of Drown
"I urge you to read this book straight through from 'Green Stones' to 'Questions of Home,' for in doing so you will discover a powerful novel that happens to be rendered in short stories rather than chapters, something I call the 'novita.' Tropical Fish is one of the finest novitas I've ever had the pleasure of reading. . . . Doreen Baingana shows mastery of language, a painter's eye for detail, and a compassion so deep, I imagine her heart has no bottom."―Reginald McKnight, author of He Sleeps: A Novel
"Doreen Baingana's stories movingly communicate the complicated social and emotional process of re-rooting. Open-eyed and unsentimental, her faith in self―in life―is evident and affecting."―Linda Swanson-Davies, coeditor of Glimmer Train Stories
"Baingana looks at contemporary Uganda in a way comparable to Edwidge Danticat's approach to Haiti's recent history. Tropical Fish marks the debut of a similarly unflinching, graceful new voice."―David Anthony Durham, author of Gabriel's Story and Walk Through Darkness
"Baingana deftly describes both the physical landscape and her characters' emotional terrain. Her narrative voice is strong, endowing the smallest situations with remarkable power."―The Virginia Quarterly Review
"Ugandan-born Baingana chronicles in her debut collection of linked stories the lives of three sisters growing up in Entebbe after the fall of Idi Amin. Though most of the stories take place in Africa, "Lost in Los Angeles" follows the principal character, Christine Mugisha, as she travels to California, where she grapples with a different breed of racism than she faces in her own country. The title story, "Tropical Fish," follows Christine's apathetic affair with an older, affluent white man who woos her with the many perks of his money. "A Thank-You Note" is a letter from Christine's older sister, Rosa, to an ex-lover that angrily and poignantly recounts her battle with AIDS. Baingana's characters are confined by a passivity and powerlessness (Christine likens herself to a plastic doll) rarely broken, though the collection ends on a hopeful note, as Christine rejoins her mother and sister Patti―Rosa has already died―thinking about how she "would have to learn all over again how to live in this new old place called home." Baingana's richly detailed stories are lush with cultural commentary."―Publishers Weekly
From the Publisher
Winner of the AWP Award for Short Fiction.
Showing 1-2 of 2 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Ultimately, this book is about another point of view on being human. It is a calm and clearly female point of view. This contrasts with other works on growing up in Africa. For example, the Ugandan writer Moses Ishigawa, in Abyssinian Nights, writes of his hyperactive and sometimes violent experiences growing up during the times of Amin and of the spread of AIDS.
Baingana's lead story, `Green Stones,' recounts a young girls' exploration of the mystery of her parents' marriage, the wounds left by her father's alcoholism, and her mother's enduring strength. With time the mystery dissipates, the sense of charm disappears, and what remains is a sense of loss and pain. `Hunger' and is a story about the loneliness of life a protestant girls' school, modeled on Uganda's Gayaza High School. `Passion' is about an adolescent's queasy awakening as a woman at Gayaza.
The title story `Tropical Fish' is about a young woman's affair with a `muzungu,' a white man. The characters are prisoners of their roles: the young woman's role is to break into a bigger world and the lonely and randy businessman's role is to find a shadow of companionship. Despite their sexual connection the couple never manage to exceed their roles and establish a deeper human connection.