Shaf and the Remington
Published by: Baraka Books
Imprint: Baraka Books
Sales Date: 2022-09-01
Available: September 2022
Imprint: Baraka Books
Page Count: 240 Pages
Dimensions: 5.50 x 8.50
240 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 in
Not Yet Published
Shaf, a physics teacher and a philosopher, fought as a partisan in the Balkans during the Second World War. He has not been heard from for 40 years. How could such an ubiquitous and expansive person disappear? Did the murder of his mother and girlfriend by fascists during the War spark his sporadic displays of insanity? Rumours had him teaching in the United States and Europe during the Cold War.
Ben, Shaf?s former student and now a lawyer in Zurich, has never given up looking for him. He finally meets up with Shaf in his home town, where they first met. The encounter does not turn out as expected.
Peopling the story are four generations of a Balkan family. They include Ben?s grandfather, a vicious bureaucrat and admirer of Mussolini, his father, an enigmatic doctor and partisan leader, his mother, a professor of Electro-Magnetism in a Polytechnique, and his sister Nika, whose fate is characteristic of the times. An 1890 Remington double-barrel shotgun appears and disappears throughout the story.
Set in Sabzic, a fictitious town in an unnamed country in the Balkans, Shaf and the Remington chronicles the lives of a family, a people, a town and a nation, from dawn at the time of the first great War to dusk as the Cold War sputters to an end.
"". . . an allegory to the forces of human nature, which pit the petty desire to divide against the will to unite.. . . (Rana Bose) would certainly merit a place in Canada's pantheon of outstanding writers." Ian Thomas Shaw, The Ottawa Review of Books
"A vivid chronicle of life in a small corner of Europe opens onto an exploration of history from the Byzantines to the Ottomans to the Second World War. This is a gripping, exuberantly written tale, mixing genres and vocabularies, tracking the elusive dream of interethnic harmony. Rana Bose?s story is beautiful and wise." Sherry Simon, Canada Chair in Translation and Cultural History, Concordia University
"In his new novel Shaf and the Remington, Rana Bose paints complex, unforgettable characters that last long after the book is read. In an epistolary style, Ben, and his tutor, Shaf, narrate events that changed their lives and the history of nations. Bose forces us to face our own anger, animosity, arrogance, and religious and racial intolerance. Masterfully crafted, the final pages of the book compel the reader to start over again." Nilambri Ghai, author of From Johanne to Janaki: Bringing Vikings to Varanasi