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Commander of the River is the coming-of-age story of Yabar, a frustrated and rebellious 18-yr-old, born in Mogadishu but raised in Rome, who struggles with school and relationships, reckons with racism, and seeks to understand who he is and how the trauma from the Somali civil war lives on in him and in the others around him. Angry about his father’s abandonment and his mother’s silence, it is while uncovering secrets from the past that he matures. The story is inspired by a Somali creation fable told to a younger Yabar – its moral that one can only know good by living alongside necessary evils.

"Fearless and highly original, Ubah Cristina Ali Farah is a superb story teller and her use and understanding of symbolism, in all its facets, is sublime. She writes with brio and brings artistry to her writing whenever she puts pen to paper. Commander of the River is one of the best novels I have read in a long while." -Nuruddin Farah


Between Us / Nashville Review

Say Wallahi / National Translation Month

Flunking Out and Overflowing / Brooklyn Rail

Bambi / Words Without Borders

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