In Baraffo, a town gripped by revolutionary fervour, a boy named Mazzu grapples to understand the motivations of Babello, a man imprisoned for an act of arson. When Babello begins a hunger strike and another building is set ablaze, tensions mount among the citizens and Mazzu considers a risky solution.
Within an extraordinary world, this sweeping and mythical story asks prescient questions about the nature of social change: is it better accelerated by those who seek total transformation or attained by those trying to work within the system?
Praise for The Legend of Baraffo:
“The Legend of Baraffo is a lucid dream of a novel, a fable fierce in its moral clarity and gorgeous at the line level. In the town of Baraffo, Moez Surani has created a place so rich in sensory detail, so wonderfully alive, as to be unforgettable. There is so much here about the nuances of longing and belonging, of intimacy and subjugation, all of it crafted from the simplest human connections—a conversation, a shared meal, a card game. This is a beautiful book, written by a bright new literary talent.” —Omar El Akkad, Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning author of What Strange Paradise
“Seamlessly pivoting from fairy tale to one of caution, Surani’s novel is a sly exploration of power and all that’s crushed to maintain it. His language is hypnotic and lush from beginning to end.” —Monique Truong, author of The Sweetest Fruits
“Moez Surani’s The Legend of Baraffo is about revolution and love, political will and will not, hunger striking, friendship, and tender romance. It’s about imprisonment, charisma and wit, wordplay and poetry, and the unrelenting search for what is just. Babello, a political prisoner, and Mazzu, an orphan training to be Mayor, are as vivid as any two characters you are ever going to meet. They are indelible and deep and burn bright. This novel is like a lamp underground—it’s absolutely brilliant.” —Lisa Moore, author of This Is How We Love
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