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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

You can’t stop birds from flying, can you, Sameer? They go where they will....

1960s Uganda. Hasan is struggling to run his family business following the sudden death of his wife. Just as he begins to see a way forward, a new regime seizes power and a wave of rising prejudice threatens to sweep away everything he has built.

Present-day London. Sameer, a young, high-flying lawyer, senses an emptiness in what he thought was the life of his dreams. Called back to his family home by an unexpected tragedy, Sameer begins to find the missing pieces of himself not in his future plans, but in a past he never knew.

Moving between two continents and several generations over a troubled century, We Are All Birds of Uganda is a multi-layered, moving and immensely resonant novel of love, loss and what it means to find home.

It is the first work of fiction by Hafsa Zayyan, co-winner of the inaugural #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize and one of the most exciting young novelists of today.

©2021 Hafsa Zayyan (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about We Are All Birds of Uganda

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Book brilliant, narration brilliant, issue with so

This book is brilliant and handles issues of racial tension with subtlety. The only issue is that the two narrators recordings are at very different volumes, meaning that as it switches between chapters you can't hear Hassan even on full volume and then get your ear blasted off by Samir. It's a shame, as both narrators do a great job, it's just whoever mixed/produced it that has messed up.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Dp
  • 18-02-21

wonderful

Great story, told by 2 family members. characters beautifully drawn.

Definitely recommend
Wonderful insight into Uganda, race, family dynamics

2 people found this helpful

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Very disappointing..

I found the characters shallow and too stereotypical. The overall story could have been interesting with all the possibilities that the different cultures presented but once again it lacked depth and then just ended.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book, shame about the sound quality.

I really enjoyed this book, a real insight into Ugandan life and the mixed cultures. The readers were great.
Unfortunately there were the occasional glitches in the editing and the sound level altered dramatically with the change of voice. A real shame.
Well worth a listen, even though!

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant Story (not well-edited)

The story is such a difficult and brilliant one on what does it mean to say you are African in a post-colonial context. And the politics of the continues impact of British colonialism on our countries while you continue to just want to live, fall in love, be happy. There were moments I had to question my own bias as a Black African and good story-telling should make you question & self-reflect.

The book was so badly edited unfortunately. No fault on the readers who read very well but the volume was all over the place and several glitchy moments. Not great on the sound editors and a pity. I pushed through only cause of the story.

1 person found this helpful

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Good Not Great

I am one of the Ugandan Asians that came here to the UK in 1972 when i was only a child. Books like this intrigue me as I am hoping to understand the true history of what happened and what my parents went through to come here. There are many similarities to the family in this story, but I felt that there was too much jumping around and not a robust telling of the story.

There were opportunities to expand and areas that were unnecessary to the story - little things that didn’t give any gravitas to anything.

Don’t get me wrong - I enjoyed the story to a point but was just disappointed with elements introduced and not followed through fully. However the final couple of chapters I found very lazily written. A real shame.

What really annoyed me though on my audible was the quality of the recording (which I have flagged to audible). The narrators seem to have recorded at two different levels that either deafened me or i had to turn the volume up to high just to hear (not to mention the occasional coughing by the elder narrator).

The younger narrator wasn’t great at the pronouncing of the Gujarati words which I find annoying as I feel that they could have found a narrator who could maybe speak Gujarati! But again it wasn’t a major distraction. Not like the sound levels...gggrrrrrrrr!!!!

I would recommend the book but the mediocre scoring are my niggles. As I say, it was good but could have been great.

1 person found this helpful

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Okay

It was okay. The one who read for the great grandfather was very good and engaging. I didn't like the one who read for the son

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  • MD
  • 23-01-22

Almost 5 stars 🌟

I was soo ready to give this 5 stars until the ending. confusing 😕

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Enjoyable

I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I really enjoyed the prose, character development and the storyline. Really good work from both narrators. Looking forward to reading more from this author.

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a brilliant colonialism story for the generations

A brilliant relatable story telling experience and impact of colonialism across generations for the generations

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  • Cindyann C.
  • 09-05-21

Errors in the recording

This is a wonderful story. I wanted more at the end. So much to reflect on re: culture, family ,obligation ethnicity, race... love. It’s a wonderful love story.

You should review this recording. I heard coughing twice and there are a few instances when the reader repeats sentences. So it needs editing a bit more.