Farah, Nuruddin

Farah, Nuruddin, 1945–, Somali novelist, playwright, and essayist. Educated in Ethiopia, India, and England, he writes in English. His first novel, From a Crooked Rib (1970), was about a girl who flees an arranged marriage, and his second, A Naked Needle (1976), a tale set in postrevolutionary Somalia, kept him in self-imposed exile for 20 years after he learned he would be arrested when he returned to Somalia. Farah's first trilogy, “Variations on the Theme of an African Dictatorship,” comprising Sweet and Sour Milk (1979), Sardines (1981), and Close Sesame (1983), starkly describes Somali life under Mohammed Siad Barre. His second trilogy, Blood in the Sun, comprising Maps (1986), Gifts (1992), and Secrets (1998), is set in late 20th cent. Somalia, focusing on his characters' personal turmoil amid that of his country. The political and religious violence and intolerance of the Somali civil war form the background of his third trilogy, “Past Imperfect,” comprising Links (2005), Knots (2007), and Crossbones (2011). Subsequent novels include Hiding in Plain Sight (2014) and North of Dawn (2018), the latter about a middle-aged immigrant Somali couple living in Norway. Farah has also written a nonfiction book about the Somali diaspora, Yesterday, Tomorow (2000).

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