Magazine article New Internationalist

The In-Between World of Vikram Lall

Magazine article New Internationalist

The In-Between World of Vikram Lall

Article excerpt

The In-Between World of Vikram LaII by MG Vassanji (Canongate, ISBN 1 84195 538 8)

MG Vassanji's expansive family saga centres on the figure of Vikram LaII, born in Kenya of Indian parents and destined to be reviled as One of Africa's most corrupt men'. In his childhood, LaIl witnesses the rise of the Mau Mau and the end of British colonial rule in Kenya. His family observes events from an uneasy vantage point: forced to leave India at Partition, they are viewed as neither African nor British, inhabiting an 'in-between world'.

At Independence, Vikram obtains a job with the Kenyan Railways and his diligence means that he swiftly rises through the ranks, to the point where he has the trust of the all-powerful Father of the Nation, Jomo Kenyatta. As a fixer of rare talent, Vikram is gradually drawn into a web of official larceny. …

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