Poor Mercy by Jonathan Falla

Poor Mercy

Jonathan Falla

Don't let the grim subject matter (aid workers struggling to prevent famine in Africa) put you off this powerful, timely and moving novel. You will read about the beauties of a landscape which is peopled with truly memorable characters. I am sure you too will think that Mogga is a magnificent literary creation. The author has used his own Sudanese experiences to great effect. Not to be missed.


Mogga had seized Daud by both hands, holding them high so that the driver's white robe lifted above his ankles. Mogga marched him forward four beats, turned him and marched him back, one two three four, turned him again and twizzled like a Highland lady under Daud's raised hand. In an instant, a dozen Sudanese drivers and monitors and mechanics had grabbed each other and followed, copying, whooping as the music accelerated and they stumbled and their leather slippers came off and they cared not at all. In pairs they skipped about the garden to the Gay Gordons, pursuing Mogga and Daud, like merry ghosts with their robes swirling white under the sparkling loops of lights in the trees. The women began to clap in time, Leila with them, in delight. Then the expatriates came out of their miserable corner, back among the Sudanese, clapping rhythmically, cheering on Mogga and the boys: one two three four, twizzle. Twizzle again!

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