Transit by Abdourahman A. Waberi
The novel’s prologue introduces two Djibouti men in an immigration waiting area in Paris’s Roissy (Charles de Gaulle) Airport: a young ex-soldier, Bashir, and Harbi, a middle-aged opposition intellectual. While they are waiting their minds turn back to what they have left behind… What follows are alternating monologues by Bashir and three members of Harbi’s closest family: his French wife Alice, their son Abdo-Julien and Awaleh, Abdo-Julien’s grandfather. Their distinct voices reflect their very different experiences and the resulting, often opposing perspectives on circumstances and realities. For example, Alice came to Djibouti as a happy young wife, who immediately fell in love with the beauty of the desert land surrounding Djibouti town while learning to adjust to a life so different from hers in France. In her monologue, she usually addresses her son to give him a better grounding in his double identity and his home. The grandfather’s voice is an important link to history, ancestors and the spirit world. The young Abdo-Julien embarks on his own path.
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