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by Moses Isegawa

Download Abyssinian Chronicles fb2, epub

ISBN: 0330485903
Author: Moses Isegawa
Language: English
Publisher: Picador (February 2, 2001)
Pages: 480
Category: Contemporary
Subcategory: Literature
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 957
Size Fb2: 1937 kb
Size ePub: 1965 kb
Size Djvu: 1751 kb
Other formats: mbr doc docx lit


Moses Isegawa has written a remarkable epic novel that illuminates an area of the world that, due to a Polish-British riverboat captain, is so often considered a metaphor for darkness and evil

Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Moses Isegawa has written a remarkable epic novel that illuminates an area of the world that, due to a Polish-British riverboat captain, is so often considered a metaphor for darkness and evil. Not only do I consider this novel to be the best one that I have read about Africa, it easily transcends the specifics of locale, and ranks as a great novel in the world’s literature. The title appears to be somewhat of a misnomer, since the novel is not really about Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia), but rather, Uganda.

Acclaim for moses isegawa’s. Abyssinian chronicles. Eloquent, harrowing, and compulsively readable. Francine Prose, Elle.

Abyssinian Chronicles book. Moses Isegawa is brutally honest. Describes everything from children bleeding out to rape and murder. Like Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children and Gabriel Garcia. Sometimes he repeats himself.

Abyssinian Chronicles. Book on. 1971: village days

Abyssinian Chronicles. Moses Isegawa was born in Kampala, Uganda. In 1990, he left Uganda for the Netherlands and is now a Dutch citizen. This is his first novel. 1971: village days. THREE FINAL IMAGES flashed across Serenity’s mind as he disappeared into the jaws of the colossal crocodile: a rotting buffalo with rivers of maggots and armies of flies emanating from its cavities; the aunt of his missing wife, who was also his longtime lover; and the mysterious woman who had cured his childhood obsession with tall women. Moses Isegawa's sprawlingly ambitious first novel, Abyssinian Chronicles, pulls off something of the same feat amid the carnage and chaos of post-independence Uganda. Its title has nothing to do with ancient Ethiopia, but puns on a country that was "a land of false bottoms where under every abyss there was another one". First published two years ago in the Netherlands, where Isegawa lives, the novel was hailed as a Ugandan The Tin Drum or Midnight's Children. Günter Grass and Salman Rushdie are indeed spectral presences.

ent in question-and-answer sessions. I was his future lawyer, possibly a future politician too, since many lawyers turned to politics: his ideal mini-double. By this time, after many years of contemplation, Grandpa had come to the conclusion that the modern state was a powder keg which would go off in a series of major explosions

Abyssinian Chronicles is a 1998 novel by Ugandan author Moses Isegawa. The book is set in Uganda, in the 1970s and '80s.

Abyssinian Chronicles is a 1998 novel by Ugandan author Moses Isegawa. Set in a tribal village during the years of the Idi Amin terror in Uganda, Abyssinian Chronicles takes us into the heart of Africa, vividly immersing us in the mesmerizing extremes of beauty and brutality, wisdom and ignorance, wealth and poverty, hope and despair that define the continent today. We come to intimately know an extended family rich in centuries-old tradition, and follow the unsentimental education of the boy who takes it all in, who learns, observes and teaches, and starts to feel the very earth moving under the African experience and the people he loves.

Comments:

Voodoolkree
Amazon recommended this book to me. In fact, they were persistent, and kept recommending it, “based on my reading habits.” And I am very glad to have taken their advice. Moses Isegawa has written a remarkable epic novel that illuminates an area of the world that, due to a Polish-British riverboat captain, is so often considered a metaphor for darkness and evil. Not only do I consider this novel to be the best one that I have read about Africa, it easily transcends the specifics of locale, and ranks as a great novel in the world’s literature. The title appears to be somewhat of a misnomer, since the novel is not really about Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia), but rather, Uganda. Only at the end of the novel does Isegawa reveal the title’s significance, and the incorrectness of my thinking.

Mugezi is the novel’s narrator and principle character. There are 25 or so other characters, many of them members of Mugezi’s family, spanning three generations. I hesitate to use the term “structure” in relationship to this novel, since it conjures up images of “analysis,” and getting the right answer on the test. But yes, Virginia, there really is such a thing as “structure,” and Isegawa’s is excellent, enhancing the reader’s knowledge and pleasure. He explains the relationships and the histories of the characters with just about the right amount of frequency so that the reader can fully appreciate the human drama in an area of the world that is proclaimed to be a country, as it stumbles from its colonial past into independence, societal upheaval, brutal dictatorship, foreign invasion and civil war. Race and religion are key elements of this drama. And I was repeatedly impressed with the freshness of Isegawa’s writing, with nary a stale metaphor, and penetrating observations of the human mind and soul.

“Draw the reader in,” is a classic dictum of writing school; Isegawa’s novel is a brilliant example. Right from the beginning, the reader learns that Mugezi’s father, Serenity, is eaten by a giant crocodile. The reader also learns what Serenity’s last thoughts are, and the significance of those thoughts are developed throughout the novel. At the end of the novel, when Serenity meets his unfortunate demise, Isegawa’s writing is a masterpiece of empathy and understanding as he describes the crocodile obtaining his sustenance. Padlock is Mugezi’s mother. She is a former nun, and Mugezi, the oldest child, considers both parents to be “tyrants.” When the parents leave their village to seek their fortune in Kampala, taking over the home of an Indian family that was expelled on the orders of Idi Amin, he is left behind, with the grandmother, and becomes her assistant as a midwife, thereby obtaining early and unique insights into the adult world, and the weaknesses of adults.

Religion permeates the novel, and the history of Uganda, as the nativist beliefs are displaced by foreign imports. As Isegawa says: “…the Christians were on top, with the Protestants having the lion’s share of the cake, the Catholics the hyena’s, and the Muslims the vulture’s scrawny pickings.” In 1975, Serenity made a pilgrimage to Rome, Lourdes, and Palestine. Isegawa calls the Pope an “armadillo,” wrapped in a “carapace of dogma.” Mugezi is enrolled in a seminary; Isegawa’s treatment of the experience is scathing. The author also relates how King Faisal of Saudi Arabia would come to Uganda in an effort to enhance those “pickings.” Money has a way of overcoming the fear of losing one’s foreskin. And the tyrant, Idi Amin, a Muslim, greatly shifted the relative status of the religious groups fighting over the carcass of what post-Independence Uganda would become. The Saudis would offer him a place of exile when he was overthrown; in one of those coincidences of life (and death), Amin would die at King Faisal Specialist Hospital.

“Slims.” That is the colloquial name for AIDS (SIDA) in Uganda. The name obviously derives from the impact on the human body. Uganda was one of the epicenters of that still on-going epidemic. Isegawa’s description of the impact and death of one of Mugezi’s aunts, who had contracted “Slims,” is one of the most powerful and heartrending in all of literature: “All the evils of guilt the parish priest and her parents had inculcated in her invaded and smothered her in their sulfurous blaze. Faced with the decomposition of beauty, the eclipsing of good memories, the trashing of fortitude and the disintegration of dignity in a pool of futile suffering, any other death seemed better than this torture rack of poisoned afflictions.” Separately, in conjunction with the Tanzanian army’s invasion of the country to overthrow Amin, Isegawa provides two graphic descriptions of rape: one of a woman, the second of a man, raped by women.

An improbable nexus of chance and life provide Mugezi an opportunity to depart Uganda. It was a Dutch Aid Relief organization’s guilt over the pedophile actions of one of its members that provided Mugezi an entry visa into Holland (and, who knows, perhaps Isegawa as well, since he is now a Dutch citizen). The last chapters involve life in the underworld of migrants in Holland. Among other takeaways: virtually all migrants are economically motivated, but both the migrant and the receiving country seemed compelled to play a game that they are “refugees” fleeing “political persecution.”

And all the above is the briefest sampling from this absolutely brilliant novel. 6-stars.
August
This book is a must read before travel to Uganda. It contains wonderful character development and provides a learning experience about life in Uganda and its history. Written from a Ugandan perspective. I read this book and the Brandt travel guide on Uganda before a 8/04 trip to Uganda and was enthralled with both. Much better than "Gravity of Sunlight". Read Abyssinian and be prepared for hours of fascinating people, culture and history.
Faehn
interesting book. arrived as described and on time.
Majin
A narration that simply stands taller and taller than any comparison... deep, reflective, spellbinding and richly told. Full of character.
Gralmeena
Isegawa's narrative of postcolonial Uganda teases out some of the most culturally pervasive themes in Ugandan social life without rendering them as caricatures. His critiques of Amin and Obote, of Indians and Europeans in Uganda, and of the entire colonial enterprise are spot on. Despite some occasionally clunky or repetitive prose--possibly necessary features of conveying Kampala life--this book is a triumph of Ugandan literature!
Wire
Loses its way about two thirds in
Vudomuro
My son said this was difficult to get through. Not his kind of preferred reading at 19 but who knows...
The book is wordy, unstructured and cheesy. At best, this reads like a train wreck. If you have to buy this book for a class, I HIGHLY recommend that you avoid the class. Any professor who requires you to read this book should immediately be regarded with suspicion.

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