Review: Where the Air is Sweet by Tasneem Jamal


A novel about the struggle to find stability in a life of displacement: The Globe & Mail

Where do you come from?

The question seems simple enough, but the answer, for me, has always been complicated: Does the inquisitor want to know where I was born? Where my parents were born? Where I was raised? My dark skin, almond-shaped eyes, and the narrow bridge of my nose all offer their own comment, which are at odds with my conception of home.

Journalist Tasneem Jamal understands this reality firsthand. She was born in Mbarara, Uganda and immigrated with her family to Canada in 1975. This was only three years after the dictator Idi Amin, who was President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979, had expelled the country’s South Asian population out of the country, claiming the minority was “sabotaging” the Ugandan economy they had actually helped build through mercantilism.

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