Crossing the River Paperback – 7 Sep 2006
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"A compassionate, forceful and profoundly moving revelation" (Scotland on Sunday)
"[T]here are gems of impassioned writing quilted within this ambitious cross-cultural novel of loss and reconciliation" (Sunday Times)
"Epic and frequently astonishing" (The Times)
"Crossing the River is dense with event and ingeniously structured. It requires concentration and is worth it" (Independent)
"An ambitious exploration of oppression, loss and reconciliation that employs a collage of styles and ranges across continents and centuries" (Nicci Gerrard Observer)
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize and winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Award, this is a moving novel about the African diaspora by one of the finest writers of his generation.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
self-consciously) gutted in full view of hundreds in a busy, open-plan coffee shop!!
The novel consists of four chapters sandwiched within brief introductory and concluding passages. In the introductory section, a father sells his three children - Nash, Martha and Travis - into slavery. These children become the "broken off limbs of a tree" seeking to sink "hopeful roots into difficult soil in distant lands", the protagonists of three of the chapters, scattered in both place and time. The four chapters that follow are essentially three discrete short stories and a concluding novella: the only interlinking between these disparate stories is that the protagonists share names with the three children mentioned in the novel's opening which make it questionable whether this work has sufficient structural cohesion to be termed a novel.
The first chapter relates the story of Nash Williams, a former slave returning to 'the pagan coast' of Africa, to 'civilise' and convert to Christianity natives away from Monrovia in Sierra Leone. Nash's story is told primarily through letters written in the 1830s and early 1840s to his American (white) father.Read more ›