The Book of Secrets by M. G. Vassanji
A Novel

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Synopsis

When Pius Fernandes, a retired schoolteacher living in modern day Dar es Salaam, discovers a diary of a British colonial administrator from 1913, he is drawn into a provocative account of the Asian community of East Africa, and the liaisons, feelings and secrets of its people, over the course of a century. Part generational history, part detective story, part social chronicle, M.G. Vassanji's award-winning novel magnificently conjures setting and period as it explores notions of identity and exile.
 

About M. G. Vassanji

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M.G. Vassanji is the author of five acclaimed novels: The Gunny Sack, which won a regional Commonwealth Writers' Prize; No New Land; The Book of Secrets, which won the very first Giller Prize; Amiriika; and The In-Between World of Vikram Lall, which also received the Giller Prize. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons.
 
Published January 1, 1995 by Macmillan. 337 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Book of Secrets

Kirkus Reviews

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The diary, found in a deserted storeroom, belonged to Sir Alfred Corbin, a British colonial officer who was sent in 1913 to administer an area in Kenya, near what was then German East Africa.

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Publishers Weekly

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Winner of Canada's esteemed Giller Prize, this complex novel is at once a story of the British Empire in Africa and a very postmodern meditation on the allures and pitfalls of narrative. It's set in t

Jan 29 1996 | Read Full Review of The Book of Secrets: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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In the present day, Rita visits Fernandes in Africa and ultimately convinces him to give up his prying into the lives of ``those who've lived a little more intensely than their neighbors.'' The book is lush with evocations of East African physical, cultural and historical landscapes.

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Historical Novel Society

“I would construct a history, a living tapestry to join the past to the present, to defy the blistering shimmering dusty bustle of city life outside which makes transients of us all.” This is a haunting book, spanning generations and key moments of East African history: the outbreak of the First...

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