The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah
A Novel (Lannan Translation Selection (Graywolf Paperback))

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In The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah, 1944 is coming to a close and nine-year-old Raj is unaware of the war devastating the rest of the world. He lives in Mauritius, a remote island in the Indian Ocean, where survival is a daily struggle for his family. When a brutal beating lands Raj in the hospital of the prison camp where his father is a guard, he meets a mysterious boy his own age. David is a refugee, one of a group of Jewish exiles whose harrowing journey took them from Nazi occupied Europe to Palestine, where they were refused entry and sent on to indefinite detainment in Mauritius.

A massive storm on the island leads to a breach of security at the camp, and David escapes, with Raj’s help. After a few days spent hiding from Raj’s cruel father, the two young boys flee into the forest. Danger, hunger, and malaria turn what at first seems like an adventure to Raj into an increasingly desperate mission.

This unforgettable and deeply moving novel sheds light on a fascinating and unexplored corner of World War II history, and establishes Nathacha Appanah as a significant international voice. 


About Nathacha Appanah

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NATHACHA APPANAH, a French-Mauritian of Indian origin, was born in Mauritius and worked there as a journalist before moving to France in 1998. The Last Brother, her fourth novel, won the Prix de la FNAC 2007 and the Grand Prix des Lecteurs de L'Express 2008.  GEOFFREY STRACHAN is the award-winning translator of Andreï Makine.
Published October 25, 2011 by Graywolf Press. 177 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Last Brother

Kirkus Reviews

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A short, deceptively rich novel, translated from the French, that illuminates an obscure footnote in World War II history.

Jan 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Last Brother: A Novel (La...

The New York Times

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Loss is a bond between two boys — one Indian, one Jewish — in this novel set on the island of Mauritius during World War II.

Feb 04 2011 | Read Full Review of The Last Brother: A Novel (La...

Publishers Weekly

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In Appanah's impressive novel, two young boys living in Mauritius during WWII secretly become friends. Eight-year-old Raj and his two brothers live on a sugar plantation where their parents eke out a

Oct 18 2010 | Read Full Review of The Last Brother: A Novel (La...

The Bookbag

We - and Raj - will never know.

Jan 30 2011 | Read Full Review of The Last Brother: A Novel (La...

Washington Independent Review of Books

Appanah uses vivid imagery to describe the verdant but dangerous landscape: “I knew when you had to swerve to avoid the big mango, slow down on the left near the almond, on account of the roots that would cunningly trip you, duck between the forked and broken branches of the eucalyptus, make a gr...

Feb 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Last Brother: A Novel (La...

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

“I do not know if I ought to be ashamed to say this but that was how it was: I did not know there was a world war on that had lasted for four years and when David asked me at the hospital if I was Jewish I did not know what he meant.” Gradually, Raj learns what is going on in the prison and h...

Apr 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Last Brother: A Novel (La...

ForeWord Reviews

What word is there to say what you have become?” the narrator asks in this tale of “two children of misfortune.” One is himself, Raj, a nine-year-old boy native to the island, wild and lonely, and the other is his friend David, “a blond child lost amid the humid heat of Beau-Bassin,” the prison i...

Dec 19 2010 | Read Full Review of The Last Brother: A Novel (La...

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