The Legend of Baraffo by Moez Surani

The Legend of Baraffo by Moez Surani

Literary Fiction
Publication Date: September 26, 2023
280 pages
5.25 x 8 inches
ISBN 9781771668415

Trade Paperback
(In stock)
(In stock)
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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

Press Coverage

24 Books by Past CBC Poetry Prize Winners and Finalists Being Published in 2023 —CBC Books

Most Anticipated: Our 2023 Fall Fiction Preview —49th Shelf

74 works of Canadian fiction to read in fall 2023 —CBC Books

Editors’ Picks for September 2023 —49th Shelf

Fall in Love with New Books —Canadian Independent Booksellers Association

“I Simply Wanted to Fly” Read an Excerpt from Moez Surani’s The Legend of Baraffo Open Book

Reads for Asian Heritage Month —All Lit Up

About the Author

Moez Surani’s writing has been published internationally, including in Harper’s MagazineBest American Experimental Writing 2016Best Canadian Poetry, and the Globe and Mail. He has received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, which supported research in India and East Africa. He has been an artist-in-residence in Finland, Italy, Latvia, Myanmar, Switzerland, Taiwan, the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, and at MacDowell in the United States. He is the author of four poetry books: Reticent Bodies (2009), Floating Life (2012), Operations (2016), and Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real (2019). Surani lives in Toronto.