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  • 1 of 1 copy available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Moorhead Public Library 958.7086 SAM (Text) 33500013711601 New Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781646220977
  • ISBN: 1646220978
  • Physical Description: 314 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First imprint edition.
  • Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Catapult, 2022.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes biliographical references (pages 307-311).
Summary, etc.:
In the late nineteenth century, a group of German-speaking Mennonites traveled from Russia into Central Asia, where their charismatic leader predicted Christ would return. Over a century later, Sofia Samatar joins a tour following their path, fascinated not by the hardships of their journey, but by its aftermath: the establishment of a small Christian village in the Muslim Khanate of Khiva. Named Ak Metchet, "The White Mosque," after the Mennonites' whitewashed church, the village lasted for fifty years.In pursuit of this curious history, Samatar discovers a variety of characters whose lives intersect around the ancient Silk Road, from a fifteenth-century astronomer-king, to an intrepid Swiss woman traveler of the 1930s, to the first Uzbek photographer, and explores such topics as Central Asian cinema, Mennonite martyrs, and Samatar's own complex upbringing as the daughter of a Swiss-Mennonite and a Somali-Muslim, raised as a Mennonite of color in America.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2022 November #2
    Chronicling the nineteenth-century journey from Russia into Uzbekistan undertaken by German-speaking Mennonites, educator and writer Samatar (Monster Portraits, 2018) weaves together memoir and stream of consciousness. She sets out on her own pilgrimage to retrace the steps of that remarkable journey and, reflecting on it, discovers parts of her identity as she learns her people's history. The daughter of a Swiss Mennonite mother and Somali Muslim father, Samatar grapples with both inherited identities and with her experience of growing up in the U.S. as a Mennonite of color. She excels in inviting readers to experience life through others' eyes: placing readers alongside her for the journey, with highly descriptive writing Samatar details everything from food preparations, to the next stop on her trip, to a vision of what life was like long ago in their village. Past and present are almost interchangeable here, and while it can seem disconcerting when the author suddenly leaps between them, it is ultimately an effective illustration of how the past shapes the present and why history matters. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

SOFIA SAMATAR is the author of the novels A Stranger in Olondria and The Winged Histories, the short story collection, Tender, and Monster Portraits, a collaboration with her brother, the artist Del Samatar. Sofia’s work has received the William L. Crawford Award, the Astounding Award for Best New Writer, the British Fantasy Award, and the World Fantasy Award. She has also been a finalist for the Locus Award, the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the Italo Calvino Prize. Her work has appeared in several year’s-best anthologies, including The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy. Sofia holds a PhD in African Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she currently teaches African literature, Arabic literature in translation, world literature, and speculative fiction at James Madison University.

Subject: Samatar, Sofia > Travel > Silk Road.
Mennonites > Khivinskoe khanstvo > History.
Silk Road > Description and travel.
Silk Road > History.
Silk Road > Social life and customs.
Genre: Autobiographies.
Travel writing.

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