Sunday, March 9, 2008
The Translator by Daoud Hari
While The Translator may be a quick read, it is most definitely not an easy read. My first reaction when I saw this book listed as an Early Reviewer option on LibraryThing was that it sounded depressing and definitely not a "light" read. And I was right. But my second thought was that something dreadful is going on in Darfur, and I am woefully uninformed. So I requested it. I'm very glad to have gotten this book and to have become just a bit more informed about the monstrosities going on a world away from my comfortable, middle-class home in America.
A friend of mine reviewed this book yesterday and was disappointed that the focus was more on Hari's imprisoments than stories of actual people in Darfur. I see where she's coming from, wanting to hear more, but at the same time, this is Daoud Hari's memoir, and that is what he had to share. I think hearing about how he was beaten mercilessly over and over is enough to give me an idea of what conditions are like all over Sudan.
This book is not sophisticated. English is not Hari's first language, and it shows. The book is probably at no more than an 8th grade reading level, if that, which is a sharp contrast to the subject matter. But Hari tells his story with brutal honesty. I could have lived without the random humor thrown in - but I guess that shows the side of Hari that enabled him to survive through some very difficult times.
Personally, I think this is an excellent introduction to the situation in Darfur, but not the place to stop. Read this and find out more and speak out.
Also reviewed at:
Leafing Through Life
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