The Bamboo Stalk by Saud Alsanousi

The Bamboo Stalk

Saud Alsanousi

Who do you think you are? It's a hard question for Jose/Isa. Born in Kuwait raised in Manila, is he Christian, Muslim or Buddhist? His mother's family is poor, his father's rich, where does he fit? Almost like a fairy tale, the hero sets out to seek his fortune in Kuwait - and dark themes follow him as oppression exists in both countries, of women, the poor, minorities. Will he ever be able to find acceptance, a home, love and happiness?

Extract

If only my parents could have given me a single, clear identity, instead of making me grope my way alone through life in search of one. Then I would have just one name that would make me turn when someone called me. I would learn its national anthem. Its trees and streets would shape my memories and in the end I would rest in its soil. I would have one religion I could believe in instead of having to set myself up as the prophet of a religion that was mine alone.

Parallels
  • Blackanese Boy by Ramon Calhoun
  • The Color of Water by James McBride

Books with similar mood

Fragrant Harbour

John Lanchester

The Angels of Russia

Patricia Le Roy

In the Distance

Hernan Diaz

Fieldwork

Mischa Berlinski

Double Vision

Pat Barker

Scenes from Village Life

Amos Oz

Echoes from the Dead

Johan Theorin

Archipelago

Monique Roffey

The Visiting Angel

Paul Wilson

Pictures of Lily

Matthew Yorke

Mr Vogel

Lloyd Jones

When Red is Black

Qiu Xiaolong

The Promise of Happiness

Justin Cartwright

Altered Land

Jules Hardy

James Miranda Barry

Patricia Duncker

High Risk

Matt Dickinson

There There

Tommy Orange

All the Lives We Never Lived

Anuradha Roy

The History of Bees

Maja Lunde

Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Madeleine Thien

Someone Else

Tonino Benacquista

Burrow

Manzu Islam

Friendly Fire

Patrick Gale

A Rhinestone Button

Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Five Quarters of the Orange

Joanne Harris

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Olga Tokarczuk

The Amber Fury

Natalie Haynes

The Kindness

Polly Samson

The Bones of Grace

Tahmima Anam

The Prophets of Eternal Fjord

Kim Leine

All the Light We Cannot See

Anthony Doerr

Life After Life

Kate Atkinson

The Resurrectionist

James Bradley

Kith and Kin

Stevie Davies

The Rotters' Club

Jonathan Coe

The World Without Us

Mireille Juchau

13 Hours

Narinder Dhami

Ten Things I've Learnt About Love

Sarah Butler

The Lowland

Jhumpa Lahiri

The Dream of the Celt

Mario Vargas Llosa

Turn of Mind

Alice LaPlante

The Other Hand

Chris Cleave

Journey to the Stone Country

Alex Miller

Nightingale Point

Luan Goldie

Infinite Home

Kathleen Alcott

The Versions of Us

Laura Barnett

Song for an Approaching Storm

Peter Fröberg Idling

The Missing

Tim Gautreaux

A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar

Suzanne Joinson