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Dance of the Jakaranda could well be a story of globalization - not just for its riveting multiracial, multicultural cast but also due to its diverse literary allusions: from Chekhovian comedy to Kafkasque caricatures, or magical realism popularized by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Yet the novel is firmly anchored in the African storytelling tradition, its language a dreamy, exalted, and earthy mix that creates new thresholds of identity, providing a fresh metaphor for race in contemporary Africa.
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By Howard N. Singer on 04-23-17
Historical Novel with Strong Characters
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Having made two trips to Kenya, I was attracted to this novel by its historical setting: the history of three generations involved, in one way or another, in the building of the railroad from Mombasa to Lake Victoria, the construction of which started in the 1890’s. By the end of the novel, with Kenya independence in the early 1960’s, much had happened to the children and grandchildren of these early pioneers. I found their stories fascinating and somewhat tragic. In the end, this novel is more about people than it is about events, but both are intertwined in a beautiful, sensitive, exciting, interesting and surprisingly fast-movie story. I thought the narrator was just right for this book.
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