All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu

All Our Names

Dinaw Mengestu

Violent, bloody and horrific revolution in Idi Amin's Uganda. Two young friends become involved in the struggle. Isaac does so voluntarily, the unnamed other through loyalty to his friend. One eventually finds refuge in America where he forms a relationship with Helen. Which one is he? The Ugandan scenes are brilliant, realistic, even amusing to begin with. Another great multi-layered read from a rising star in African fiction.


That was the first night of Joseph's war. The small arms hidden in the wheelbarrow ended up in the hands of the seven boys I had been confirmed with. Shortly after Isaac and I left the house, they began to kill the soldiers patrolling the neighborhood, one at a time. Those boys had the advantage at the beginning: it was their home. They knew where to hide and where to shoot from.

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