The House of Rust

The House of Rust

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The first Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize winner, a story of a girl's fantastical sea voyage to rescue her father

The House of Rust
is an enchanting novel about a Hadhrami girl in Mombasa. When her fisherman father goes missing, Aisha takes to the sea on a magical boat made of a skeleton to rescue him. She is guided by a talking scholar's cat (and soon crows, goats, and other animals all have their say, too). On this journey Aisha meets three terrifying sea monsters. After she survives a final confrontation with Baba wa Papa, the father of all sharks, she rescues her own father, and hopes that life will return to normal. But at home, things only grow stranger.

Khadija Abdalla Bajaber's debut is a magical realist coming-of-age tale told through the lens of the Swahili and diasporic Hadhrami culture in Mombasa, Kenya. Richly descriptive and written with an imaginative hand and sharp eye for unusual detail, The House of Rust is a memorable novel by a thrilling new voice.

Author: Khadija Abdalla Bajaber
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Published: 10/19/2021
Pages: 272
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.58lbs
Size: 8.32h x 5.57w x 0.68d
ISBN: 9781644450680

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 05/01/2021 pg. 3
Kirkus Reviews 08/15/2021
Publishers Weekly 08/30/2021
Library Journal 10/08/2021 pg. 1
Booklist 10/15/2021 pg. 24
School Library Journal 12/01/2021 pg. 99

About the Author
Khadija Abdalla Bajaber is a Mombasarian writer of Hadrami descent and the winner of the inaugural Graywolf Press Africa Prize. Her work has appeared in Enkare Review, Lolwe, and Down River Road, among other places. She lives in Mombasa, Kenya.