Cruel Crazy Beautiful World: A Novel

Open Road Media
Free sample

Two characters navigate the post-apartheid South African landscape in this haunting story of the injustice that still simmers below the country’s surface In Troy Blacklaws’s ambitious novel, the lives of two African men run parallel, exposing the tensions that rumble at South Africa’s post-apartheid core. Jerusalem is a young poet and student whose stubborn father will no longer pay for his rambling studies. Half Jewish, half Muslim, Jerusalem is forced from Cape Town to a distant harbor village by his father, who believes a stint selling curios to tourists will right his wandering ways. Meanwhile, Jabulani loses his teaching job in Zimbabwe after mocking President Mugabe and must move south to start a new life. But his life across the border is tainted by the harsh truth that racism isn’t gone; it’s just taken another form. As the two men’s lives merge, their stories reveal the paradoxes of the South African experience. 
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About the author

Troy Blacklaws is a South African writer whose work uses the lens of his own boyhood to illuminate the reality of living under apartheid. After moving from Natal, South Africa, to the Cape with his family at the age of nine, Blacklaws learned the truth behind the divisions in his country, first as a student at Paarl Boys’ High and then as a draftee for the army, where he spent two bitter years as an objector. Shortlisted for the Prix Femina for Karoo Boy, Blacklaws is a graduate of Rhodes University and has taught at international schools in Frankfurt, Vienna, and Singapore. He now lives and teaches in Luxembourg.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Mar 26, 2013
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Pages
230
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ISBN
9781480410039
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Cultural Heritage
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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2019 First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association

An “urgent and heartrending novel about an America on the brink” (Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood), They Come in All Colors follows a biracial teenage boy who finds his new life in the big city disrupted by childhood memories of the summer when racial tensions in his hometown reached a tipping point.

It’s 1968 when fourteen-year-old Huey Fairchild begins high school at Claremont Prep, one of New York City’s most prestigious boys’ schools. His mother had uprooted her family from their small hometown of Akersburg, Georgia, leaving behind Huey’s white father and the racial unrest that ran deeper than the Chattahoochee River.

But for our sharp-tongued protagonist, forgetting the past is easier said than done. At Claremont, where the only other nonwhite person is the janitor, Huey quickly realizes that racism can lurk beneath even the nicest school uniform. After a momentary slip of his temper, Huey finds himself on academic probation and facing legal charges. With his promising school career in limbo, he begins to reflect on his memories of growing up in Akersburg during the Civil Rights Movement—and the chilling moments leading up to his and his mother’s flight north.

With Huey’s head-shaking antics fueling this coming-of-age narrative, the novel triumphs as a tender and honest exploration of race, identity, family, and homeland, and a work that is “emotionally acute…eye-opening and rewarding for a wide range of readers” (Library Journal, starred review).

“I am Moscow’s underground son, the result of one too many nights on the town,” says Mbobo, the precocious twelve-year-old narrator of Hamid Ismailov’s The Underground. Born from a Siberian woman and an African athlete competing in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Mbobo navigates the complexities of being a fatherless, mixed-raced boy in the Soviet Union in the years before its collapse, guided only by the Moscow subway system. Named one of the "ten best Russian novels of the 21st Century" (Continent Magazine), The Underground is Ismailov’s haunting tour of the Soviet capital, on the surface and beneath. Though deeply engaged with great Russian authors of the past—Dostoyevsky, Nabokov, and, above all, Pushkin—Ismailov is an emerging master of Russian writing that reflects the country’s diversity today.


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"Hamid Ismailov has the capacity of Salman Rushdie at his best to show the grotesque realization of history on the ground."—Literary Review
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Hamid Ismailov is an Uzbek journalist, writer, and translator who was forced to flee Uzbekistan in 1992 for the United Kingdom, where he now works for the BBC World Service. His works are still banned in Uzbekistan. His writing has been published in Uzbek, Russian, French, English, and other languages. He is the author of novels including Sobranie Utonchyonnyh, Le Vagabond Flamboyant, Two Lost to Life, The Railway, The Underground, A Poet and Bin-Laden and The Dead Lake; poetry collections including Sad (Garden) and Pustynya (Desert); and books of visual poetry Post Faustum and Kniga Otsutstvi. 


Carol Ermakova studied German and Russian language and literature and holds an MA in translation from Bath University. She first visited Russia in 1991. More recently, Ermakova spent two years in Moscow working as a teacher and translator. Carol currently lives in the North Pennines and works as a freelance translator.

The #1 International Bestseller & New York Times Bestseller

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.

“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.

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