The Prophet's Camel Bell: A Memoir of Somaliland by Margaret LaurenceThe Prophet's Camel Bell: A Memoir of Somaliland by Margaret Laurence

The Prophet's Camel Bell: A Memoir of Somaliland

byMargaret Laurence

Paperback | October 15, 2011

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In 1950, as a young bride, Margaret Laurence set out with her engineer husband to what was then Somaliland: a British protectorate in North Africa few Canadians had ever heard of. Her account of this voyage into the desert is full of wit and astonishment. Laurence honestly portrays the difficulty of colonial relationships and the frustration of trying to get along with Somalis who had no reason to trust outsiders. There are moments of surprise and discovery when Laurence exclaims at the beauty of a flock of birds only to discover that they are locusts, or offers medical help to impoverished neighbors only to be confronted with how little she can help them. During her stay, Laurence moves past misunderstanding the Somalis and comes to admire memorable individuals: a storyteller, a poet, a camel-herder. The Prophet’s Camel Bell is both a fascinating account of Somali culture and British colonial characters, and a lyrical description of life in the desert.

The Prophet’s Camel Bell has a timeless feeling about it that sets the work quite apart from the usual books of travel and adventure in distant and exotic parts.”—Canadian Literature
 Margaret Laurence (1926–1987) was a well-known Canadian author of short stories and novels, including The Stone Angel, A Jest of God, The Diviners, and The Fire Dwellers. In 1972 Laurence was named a Companion of the Order of Canada.  
Title:The Prophet's Camel Bell: A Memoir of SomalilandFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.6 inPublished:October 15, 2011Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226470075

ISBN - 13:9780226470078


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful I was originally interested in this book after my own trip to Somalia. This book really makes you reflect on the fact that the way the media portrays certain countries isn't always the reality on the ground. This book was deeply insightful in the fact that I could understand both Margaret and the desires and hopes of the Somalis in their struggle against colonialism and in becoming a dignified and free nation. It reminds me of the struggles that Somalis are in right now to take back their narrative and rebuild their nation in the face of foreign intervention (not always the best intentions) and opposition from some within their country who profit from the current situation. This book is one of my classics. I'm always rooting for you Somalia. Your people are forever in my heart and I hope that one day you will be able to stand tall and proud as the Lion of Africa.
Date published: 2018-02-01