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Vikram Lall comes of age in 1950s Kenya, at the same time that the colony is struggling towards independence. Against the unsettling backdrop of Mau Mau violence, Vic and his sister Deepa, the grandchildren of an Indian railroad worker, search for their place in a world sharply divided between Kenyans and the British. We follow Vic from a changing Africa in the fifties, to the hope of the sixties, and through the corruption and fear of the seventies and eighties. Hauntingly told in the voice of the now exiled Vic, The In-Between World of Vikram Lall is an acute and bittersweet novel of identity and family, of lost love and abiding friendship, and of the insidious legacy of the British Empire.
“Gorgeous and heart-rending. . . . Vassanji explores [love and loss] with all the tact of a true literary power.” —Chicago Tribune
“Brilliantly written and deeply felt, it is a resonant family novel that is also a brutally honest portrayal of the last half century of tumultuous Kenyan history. . . . Vassanji displays his great gifts; this beautiful novel, which unfolds with intimacy and an inexorable sense of destiny, is proof that fictional truth can illuminate an epoch in history like nothing else.” —The Boston Globe
“Tautly written. . . . Admirably captures the tenor of the postcolonial period: the predicament of the Asian minority, the corruption that marred Kenya’s fledgling independence, and the individual tragedies that were the cost of the revolution.” —The New Yorker
“A novel of elegant gesture, complex understanding, bright passion, and historical pain.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Finely drawn . . . an ambitious and enthralling work.” —The Times Literary Supplement