Hiding in Plain Sight

by Nuruddin Farah

KSh 1,700

From one of the world’s most important and acclaimed novelists comes a provocative and unforgettable new novel about family, freedom and loyalty.

In his new novel Hiding In Plain Sight, Nuruddin Farah offers a provocative and intimate portrait of a family wracked by loss and learning how to live in the wake of tragedy. When internationally known fashion photographer Bella hears of the murder of her beloved brother by political extremists in Mogadiscio, she flies from Rome to be with his teenage son and daughter in Nairobi, where they are in boarding school. Also arriving are the children’s long-absent mother and her partner, who bring with them a chaos that mirrors the political unrest in the region and force Bella to decide how far her responsibility goes in the face of major upheavals.



Author: Nurddin Farah
ISBN: 978-1594633362
Country: Somalia
Publisher: Kwani Trust
Size (inches): 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.4
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Colour: Black & White
Weight 32 grams
Language: English
Publication Date: October 30, 2014
  1. Rated 5 out of 5


    “Among his continent’s finest writers and, arguably, the world’s.”—Kirkus Reviews

    “One of the most sophisticated voices in modern fiction.” —New York Review of Books

    “The literary voice of his country on the world stage.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

    “One of the finest contemporary African novelists.” —Salman Rushdie

    “Literature that is truly world-class.” —Los Angeles Times

    “Farah [stands] beside Chinua Achebe and V.S. Naipaul.” —Wall Street Journal

    “Politically courageous…gripping.” —New York Times Book Review

    “Exuberant, inventive, and mind-blowing.” —Salon.com

  2. Rated 4 out of 5

    Mr. Roundsquare

    The identity, ethnic profiling and qabiil question among Somalis in Kenya (and Diaspora) to the point of feeling alienated is treated with proper dignity in Nuruddin’s latest work Hiding in Plain Sight. Anothe Somali author, Maryam Ariif also tackles this alienation and a loneliness symbolized by man-deeq, the she-camel, in her The People who Kidnap Themselves.

    However, some thin-skinned issues also raised in the novel, perhaps would open up further inquisition and mature debates in closed communities. For example, from the exposé of Valarie and her various ‘divergent’ views on feminism and lesbianism subtly brushed off by the community as a non-issue.

    Immorality, adultery and prostitution by the protagonist Bella cannot be sanitised on the grounds that it’s because her father is a white expat, a guy her mother ran off with, breaking up her marriage with a Somali. How does Caucasian genes be responsible for immorality? Like M7 (and Unca Bob) justifying banning gay rights because in their wisdom, ‘we can’t call an abnormality an alternative orientation.’ Well, it could be that the western societies on account of random breeding have generated lots of abnormal people, but how can Africans stand on their moral Ararat and give a lecture on the definition of morality?

    Bella’s death through the hands of the terrorists is inexcusable; and reminds me of Akoko, the glorified female heroine in Ogola’s River and the Source, who excels at the expense of the patriarchic male characters whose character assassination is intolerable.

    Radicalization also explodes in the text through the various sectarian labels. It’s obvious some characters find it uncomfortable to use ‘moderate’ or ‘liberal’ brand of Islam. That, that’s some Western ideology propagated by Christian extremists; that there’s no Islam except Islam. One is either a Muslim or not. This is significant because those who murder innocent people in the name of Allah can never be practicing Islam, which venerates the sanctity of life.

    ~Tolerance is Hiding in Plain Sight (A Review by Roundsquare)

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Nuruddin Farah

Nuruddin Farah is a prominent Somali novelist. He is the author of eleven previous novels, which have been translated into more than twenty languages and have won numerous awards, such as the 1998 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Born in Baidoa, Somalia, Nuruddin Farah lives in Cape Town, South Africa, and Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, where he is Distinguished Professor of Literature at Bard College.