A dozen years after his last visit, Jeebleh returns to his beloved Mogadiscio to see old friends. He is accompanied by his son-in-law, Malik, a journalist intent on covering the region’s ongoing turmoil. What greets them at first is not the chaos Jeebleh remembers, however, but an eerie calm enforced by ubiquitous white-robed figures bearing whips.
Meanwhile, Malik’s brother, Ahl, has arrived in Puntland, the region notorious as a pirates’ base. Ahl is searching for his stepson, Taxliil, who has vanished from Minneapolis, apparently recruited by an imam allied to Somalia’s rising religious insurgency. The brothers’ efforts draw them closer to Taxliil and deeper into the fabric of the country, even as Somalis brace themselves for an Ethiopian invasion. Jeebleh leaves Mogadiscio only a few hours before the borders are breached and raids descend from land and sea. As the uneasy quiet shatters and the city turns into a battle zone, the brothers experience firsthand the derailments of war.
Completing the trilogy that began with Links and Knots, Crossbones is a fascinating look at individuals caught in the maw of zealotry, profiteering, and political conflict, by one of our most highly acclaimed international writers.
"Politically courageous and often gripping… Crossbones provides a sophisticated introduction to present-day Somalia, and to the circle of poverty and violence that continues to blight the country." –The New York Times Book Review
"Mesmerizing… A searing look at individuals caught in the chaos of anarchy." –The Daily Beast (Hot Reads)
"Harrowing without resorting to sensationalism, this highly topical final volume in Farahs’s Past Imperfect trilogy should burnish his well-deserved reputation. It is dense, complex stuff, but his brave and imperfect characters are a pleasure to follow. [A] gripping but utterly humane thriller set in one of the least understood regions on earth." –Kirkus Reviews
"Farah writes enthrallingly about his native Somalia… Expect sharp insight into both human nature and secretarian strife, told in illuminating language free of cant." –Library Journal
"[Farah] writes beautifully and prolifically about his native Somalia." –TheMillions.com