Book review: The Magic of Saida
The cover of 'The Magic of Saida' and the author M.G. Vassanji.
The Magic of Saida
Descendent of an African slave and a Gujarati trader, Kamal Punja grew up in the ancient town of Kilwa, on the coast of East Africa. Kamal, who never knew his father, is given away by his mother to better his prospects. Years later, after a flourishing career as a doctor in Canada, he returns, in search of Saida, his childhood sweetheart.
But where is Saida, and why are his efforts to find her being thwarted? Feverish, delirious, and perhaps delusional, Kamal is haunted by the past as he struggles to trace the woman he thinks he betrayed. Along the way, he must face the truth of his mixed lineage and be accountable for a chain of events he had unwittingly set off.
Set in the vivid world where Africa, Arabia and India meet, where history, poetry, and magic combine, "The Magic of Saida" is a haunting story of enduring love and lost childhood.