(K. Brent Tomer),
Who Will Catch Us As We Fall. By Iman Verjee. Oneworld; 442 pages; $15.99 and £12.99.
A FAR cry from the outsider-in-Africa literature made famous by Karen Blixen and Elspeth Huxley, “Who Will Catch Us As We Fall” is an unflinching novel about an Indian family in Nairobi. Set between 1995 and 2007, it is a portrait of Kenya’s capital, a place that may cling to its moniker—“the green city in the sun”—but thanks to its reputation for crime, is known more commonly as “Nairobbery”. Violence, prostitution, corruption, poverty, police brutality, political impunity and the often seemingly insurmountable divisions of tribe and race are laid bare in this book.
An assured insight into the culture of the Indian-Kenyans who arrived during the colonial era, this is the second novel by Iman Verjee (pictured), who grew up in Kenya. An idealistic father, Raj Kohli longs for his son Jai to take up the mantle left by Pio Gama Pinto, a politician who was assassinated just over a year after independence. Jai yearns to be accepted in his homeland…Continue reading