Presenting a Modern African Odyssey: A Man of Good Hope by Jonny Steinberg
New from Jonathan Ball – A Man of Good Hope by Jonny Steinberg:
In January 1991, when civil war came to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, two-thirds of the city’s population fled. Among them was eight-year-old Asad Abdullahi. His mother murdered by a militiaman, his father somewhere in hiding, he was swept into the great wartime migration that scattered the Somali people throughout sub-Saharan Africa and the world.
Serially betrayed by the people who promised to care for him, Asad lived his childhood at a sceptical remove from the adult world, his relation to others wary and tactical.
By the time he had reached the cusp of adulthood, Asad had honed an array of wily talents. At the age of seventeen, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, he made good as a street hustler. He also courted the famously beautiful Foosiya and, to the astonishment of his peers, married her. Buoyed by success in work and in love, Asad put $1 200 into his pocket and made his way down the length of the African continent to Johannesburg, South Africa. And so began a shocking adventure in a country richer and more violent than he could possibly have imagined.
A Man of Good Hope is the story of a person shorn of the things we have come to believe make us human – personal possessions, parents, siblings. And yet Asad’s is an intensely human life, one suffused with dreams and desires and a need to leave something of permanence on this earth.
“A masterpiece. Steinberg has illuminated a modern African odyssey to brilliant effect”.
Martin Meredith, author of The State of Africa
“What a brave, important book. Steinberg’s writing is so human, so humane and so honest.”
Alexandra Fuller, author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight
About the author
Jonny Steinberg was born and bred in South Africa. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Three-Letter Plague as well as Midlands and The Number, which both won South Africa’s premier non-fiction prize, the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award.