The Fortune Men
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2021
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA NOVEL WARD 2021
‘Chilling and utterly compelling, The Fortune Men shines an essential light on a much-neglected period of our national life’ Sathnam Sanghera, author of Empireland
Mahmood Mattan is a fixture in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay, 1952, which bustles with Somali and West Indian sailors, Maltese businessmen and Jewish families. He is a father, chancer, some-time petty thief. He is many things, in fact, but he is not a murderer.
So when a shopkeeper is brutally killed and all eyes fall on him, Mahmood isn’t too worried. It is true that he has been getting into trouble more often since his Welsh wife Laura left him. But Mahmood is secure in his innocence in a country where, he thinks, justice is served.
It is only in the run-up to the trial, as the prospect of freedom dwindles, that it will dawn on Mahmood that he is in a terrifying fight for his life – against conspiracy, prejudice and the inhumanity of the state. And, under the shadow of the hangman’s noose, he begins to realise that the truth may not be enough to save him.
‘A writer of great humanity and intelligence. Nadifa Mohamed deeply understands how lives are shaped both by the grand sweep of history and the intimate encounters of human beings’ Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire
‘A novel of tremendous power, compassion and subtlety, it feels unsettlingly timely’ Pankaj Mishra
A writer of great humanity and intelligence. Nadifa Mohamed deeply understands how lives are shaped both by the grand sweep of history and the intimate encounters of human beings — Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire Chilling and utterly compelling, The Fortune Men shines an essential light on a much-neglected period of our national life — Sathnam Sanghera, author of Empireland The Fortune Men is that rare novel that breaks your heart and, in so doing, gives you life. Nadifa Mohamed is a revelation – she writes with the fierce compassionate lightning of a truth-teller, lays bare the ghastly colonial condition that afflicts so many of us, where truth cannot overcome injustice. If a novel can be an avenger then The Fortune Men is the one we’ve all been waiting for — Junot Diaz The Fortune Men describes how innocence is forced to justify itself before gross injustice. A novel of tremendous power, compassion and subtlety, it feels unsettlingly timely — Pankaj Mishra A moving and captivating tale of survival and hope in a war-torn country, and confirms Mohamed’s stature as one of Britain’s best young novelists * Stylist on The Orchard of Lost Souls * Mixing startling lyricism and sheer brutality, this is a significant, affecting book * Guardian, on Black Mamba Boy * Just as Half of a Yellow Sun drew out the little documented dramas of the Biafran war, Mohamed describes an East Africa under Mussolini’s rule . . . such an accomplished first novel * Independent, on Black Mamba Boy * A first novel of elegance and beauty… a stunning debut * The Times, on Black Mamba Boy * A haunting and intimate portrait of the lives of women in war-torn Somalia * New York Journal of Books, on The Orchard of Lost Souls * With the unadorned language of a wise, clear-eyed observer, Nadifa Mohamed has spun an unforgettable tale * Taiye Selasi, on The Orchard of Lost Souls *
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