Vitabu Reads | The Last Harmattan of Alusine Dunbar


I am currently reading Syl Cheyney-Coker's The Last Harmattan of Alusine Dunbar: A Novel of Magical Vision. The 398-pager was published October 1st, 1990 by Heinemann and won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book in Africa in 1991.  Here's what Black Biographies says about the book.

The story is a fictionalized history of a fictional Atlantic port city-state called Malagueta. Two hundred years of its traumas are chronicled, concluding with a coup. The "harmattan" of the title refers to a fierce, dust-carrying seasonal wind from the Sahara Desert that plagues this part of Africa. A prophet, Sulaiman the Nubian, appears and forecasts doom for Malagueta because of human folly, and he returns generations later as Alusine Dunbar. Cheney-Coker's literary style uses elements of the surreal, including distorted physical features and outlandishly outré events. Publishers Weekly reviewer Penny Kaganoff wrote that "in the tradition of magical realism, a sense of history and psychological drama make the story believable."

I'll let you know my thoughts when I finish reading.

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