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Morning in Serra Mattu A Nubian Ode

ISBN: 9781938073892 | 1938073894
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: McSweeney's
Pub. Date: 4/15/2014

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A mosaic of interrelated stories exploding with personality, myth, and geohistorical weight, Morning in Serra Mattu is a profound, joyful meditation on life in modern Sudan. Arif Gamal seamlessly blends large-scale political realities with the local and the traditional: “old villages/whose ancient way is so composed/each single blade of grass is known/and in its place.” Epic in scope, spellbinding in its intimacy, generosity, and wisdom, Morning in Serra Mattu is the book we didn’t know we needed.

how thrilling it was in the earliest morning
to race barefoot down the sandy slopes and dunes
with all the bellowing goats
and dogs and sheep and other animals
for their first morning drink
and to swim in the fresh waters of the flowing river

while the thousand upon thousand
of high unhindered Nubian stars began to fall away
before a tinge of milky line along the hills

until light grew from nearly nothing
to an immensity

—from “Return to Serra Mattu”


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