Overview for The In-Between World of Vikram Lall
It is 1953 in colonial Kenya, and eight-year-old Vikram Lall witnesses the celebration of Queen Elizabeth's coronation, even as the Mau Mau guerilla war challenges British rule. Vic and his sister Deepa, whose grandfather came to Kenya from Punjab to build the railways, must find their place in this uncertain world of violent upheaval, confusing loyalties and conflicting ideologies. And among their newly acquired playmates, the brother and sister, neither Black nor White, find themselves in between British Bill and Annie, and the African Njoroge. These friendships will haunt them the rest of their lives. We follow Vic from the changing Africa of the fifties, to the sixtiesâ€”a time that holds immense promise. But when that hope is betrayed by the corruption, fear and repression of the seventies and eighties, Vic finds himself drawn into the official orbit of graft and power-brokering. Njoroge, on the other hand, can abandon neither the idealism of his youth nor his love for Deepa. Neither the cynicism of the one nor the idealism of the other can avert the tragedies that await. Acute and bittersweet, vividly portrayed and finely nuanced, The In-Between World of Vikram Lall is told in the voice of the exiled Vic from the shores of Lake Ontario, as he contemplates the historical events that have shaped himâ€”`one of Africa's most corrupt men'â€”and the choices he has made.
M.G. Vassanji (Author)
M.G. Vassanji was born in Kenya and raised in Tanzania. Before moving to Canada in 1978, he attended MIT and later was writer in residence at the University of Iowa. Vassanji is the author of four acclaimed novels: The Gunny Sack (1989), which won a regional Commonwealth Prize; No New Land (1991); The Book of Secrets (1994), which won The Giller Prize and The Bressani Prize; and Amriika (1999). He is also the author of a collection of short stories, Uhuru Street. He was awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize in 1994 in recognition of his achievement in and contribution to the world of letters, and was in the same year chosen as one of twelve Canadians on Maclean's Honour Roll. Vassanji lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons.