Synopses & Reviews
It’s 2010 and Natasha, a half Russian, half Sudanese professor of
history, is researching the life of Imam Shamil, the 19th century Muslim
leader who led the anti-Russian resistance in the Caucasian War. When
shy, single Natasha discovers that her star student, Oz, is not only
descended from the warrior but also possesses Shamil’s legendary sword,
the Imam’s story comes vividly to life. As Natasha’s relationship with
Oz and his alluring actress mother intensifies, Natasha is forced to
confront issues she had long tried to avoid—that of her Muslim heritage.
When Oz is suddenly arrested at his home one morning, Natasha realizes
that everything she values stands in jeopardy.
Aboulela’s inimitable elegance and narrated from the point of view of
both Natasha and the historical characters she is researching, The Kindness of Enemies
is both an engrossing story of a provocative period in history and an
important examination of what it is to be a Muslim in a post-9/11 world.
About the Author
Leila Aboulela won the first Caine Prize for African Writing. She is the author of four books: Lyrics Alley; The Translator, a New York Times 100 Notable Book of the Year; Minaret; and a book of short stories, Colored Lights.