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The In-between World of Vikram Lall

by M G Vassanji

It's hard to feel sympathy for a man who is a described as 'one of Africa's most corrupt men', especially when he is emotionally constipated. Anti hero Vickram Lall struggles with issues of racial identity and memory as he grows up in the Kenya of the Mau Mau revolt, yet he retains a certain naivety that is ultimately endearing.

Extract

'That night I went home and cried. I don't know why the tears streamed down my face, uncontrollably, in the darkness of my room. Papa was watching Bonanza in the living room, Mother listening to Indian music on a tape recorder. I suppose it was because I felt my childhood's years to have been so blighted, in a way I could not fathom. And that evening, with the memories dredged up, the cold carapace of my composure cracked and the tears leaked out in streams.
I don't intend to be sentimental.

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