Somaliland: “The Orchard of Lost Souls” – Book Launch & Discussion


Date & Time: Thursday, 12 September 2013, 6-8PM

Venue: Brunei Suite, SOAS, London WC1H 0XG

Speaker: Nadifa Mohamed, author. Respondent: Ayan Mahamoud, director of Kayd Somali Arts and Culture, organiser of Somali Week Festival in London and co-organiser of the Hargeisa International Book Fair. Chair: Mary Harper, Africa Editor, BBC.

Join us for the launch and a discussion of “The Orchard of Lost Souls” with author Nadifa Mohamed, nominated one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists 2013.

Somalilandsun – It is 1988 and Hargeisa waits. Whispers of revolution travel on the dry winds but still the dictatorship remains secure. Soon, and through the eyes of three women, we will see Somalia fall. Nine-year-old Deqo has left the vast refugee camp she was born in, lured to the city by the promise of her first pair of shoes. Kawsar, a solitary widow, is trapped in her little house with its garden clawed from the desert, confined to her bed after a savage beating in the local police station. Filsan, a young female soldier, has moved from Mogadishu to supress the rebellion growing in the north. And as the country is unravelled by a civil war that will shock the world, the fate of the three women is twisted irrevocably together. Intimate, frank, brimming with beauty and fierce love, The Orchard of Lost Souls is an unforgettable account of ordinary lives lived in extraordinary times.

About the Author

writer Nadifa Mohamed Nadifa Mohamed was born in Hargeisa in 1981 while Somalia was falling deeper into dictatorship. In 1986 she moved to London with her family in what she thought was a temporary move but a couple of years later it became permanent as war broke out in Somalia. She was educated in London and went to Oxford to study History and Politics and she finally returned to Hargeisa, now in the new Republic of Somaliland, in 2008. The Orchard of Lost Souls is her second novel. Her first novel, Black Mamba Boy, was longlisted for the Orange Prize, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the PEN Open Book Award. It won the Betty Trask Prize. In 2013 she was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. Nadifa lives in London and is currently working on her third novel.

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