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Nadifa Mohamed Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Black Mamba Boy (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Orchard of Lost Souls (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fortune Men (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Publication Order of Anthologies

Nadifa Mohamed
Nadifa Mohamed was born in Hargeisa, Somaliland in the year 1981. her dad was a sailor in the merchant navy while her mom was a local landlady. In the year 1986, she moved with her family to London for what had been intended to be just a temporary stay. But the civil war broke out shortly after in Somalia, so they stayed in the UK.

She’d later attend the University of Oxford, where she studied politics and history. In the year 2008, she visited Hargeisa for the very first time in over a decade.

“Black Mamba Boy” is a semi-autobiographical account of Nadifa’s dad’s life in Yemen during the 30s and 40s, during the colonial period. The title comes from when her grandma was heavily pregnant with Nadifa’s dad, she was following the family caravan and wound up getting lost and separated from the others. She sat down for rest under an acacia tree and this black mamba snake crept upon her belly before it slithered away, leaving her unharmed. She saw this as a sign that the child she was carrying would always be protected.

Nadifa’s writing has been published in outlets like Literary Hub and The Guardian, as well as in an anthology called New Daughters of Africa, which includes poetry written by Nadifa.

“Black Mamba Boy” won a 2010 Betty Trask Prize, and was shortlisted for many awards including the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Guardian First Book Award, and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. It was also longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. While “The Orchard of Lost Souls” won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2014. Nadifa was named Best of Young British Novelists by Granta and she was included on the Africa39 list of the most promising writers under the age of 40 from Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Black Mamba Boy” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2010. A stunning novel set during the thirties in Somalia spanning a decade of upheaval and war, all of which is seen through the eyes of a young boy that is all alone in the world.

Aden in Yemen, in 1935. A city that is alive, vibrant, and filled with hidden dangers. And home to a ten year old boy, named Jama. However then his mom dies unexpectedly and he finds that he is all alone in the world, now.

Jama gets forced home to his native Somalia, which is the land of his nomadic ancestors. There is war on the horizon and the fascist Italian forces that control parts of East Africa are getting ready for battle. But he cannot rest until he learns whether his dad, who has been absent from his life since he was just a baby, is still alive working somewhere in the Sudan.

So starts an epic journey that is going to take Jama north through Djibouti, war-torn Eritrea and Sudan, and on to Egypt. And from there, on board a ship that is transporting Jewish refugees that have been released from German concentration camps, across the seas to Britain and freedom.

This is the story of one boy’s long walk to freedom yet it’s also the story of how the Second World War affected Africa and its people. A tale of family and of displacement.

This is a novel filled with vivid imagery and illumination of history from an inside point of view. The events that Jama experiences help keep the reader engaged throughout. Her writing is lyrical and her intricate descriptions bring life to scenes which may seem barren at first glance. She delivers a powerful story about identity and brings light to the darkness of life as a refugee.

“The Orchard of Lost Souls” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2013. The year is 1988 and Hargeisa waits. Whispers about revolution travel on dry winds however the dictatorship is still secure. Quick, and through three women’s eyes, we’ll see Somalia fall.

Deqo, age nine, has left the vast refugee camp she was born in, being lured to the city by the promise of her very first pair of shoes.

Filsan is a young female soldier and has moved from Mogadishu to suppress the rebellion that is growing in the north.

Kawsar, who is a solitary widow, is trapped inside her small house with its garden clawed from the desert, and confined to her bed after she was brutally beaten in the local police station.

And while the country is unraveling by a civil war which is going to shock the entire world, the fates of these three women are twisted irrevocably together.

“The Fortune Men” is the third stand alone novel and was released in the year 2021. The story of a murder, a miscarriage of justice, and a man that is too innocent for his times.

Mahmood Mattan is a fixture in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay in 1952, which bustles with West Indian and Somali sailors, Jewish families, and Maltese businessmen. He’s a dad, chancer, and a petty criminal. He’s a smooth talker with rakish charm and an eye for a good game. He’s many things, but that doesn’t mean he is a murderer.

So when this shopkeeper gets killed in brutal fashion and all the eyes fall on him, he is not all that worried. Since Laura, his Welsh wife, kicked him out for racking up a bunch of debts, he has just been wandering the streets more frequently, and there are witnesses that allegedly saw him go into the shop that night. However Mahmood has escaped from worse scrapes, and he is innocent in this country where justice gets served.

Love also lends him immunity as well: Laura’s fierce love, and she forgives his gambling in a heartbeat, as well as his kids. It’s only in the run-up to the trial, while the prospect of going back home dwindles, that it’ll dawn on him that he’s in for the fight of his life. Against prejudice, conspiracy, and cruelty, and that the truth might not be enough to save him.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Nadifa Mohamed

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