Now we come to the first author in the Granta anthology whom I’ve previously reviewed on this blog – twice, in fact. A few years ago, I enjoyed both Nadifa Mohamed’s debut novel, Black Mamba Boy, and her short story ‘Summer in the City’. Now we have ‘Filsan’, a piece taken from Mohamed’s forthcoming second book. The title character is a young soldier sent from Hargeisa in northern Somalia on a mission to three border villages which are sheltering rebels. I think ‘Filsan’ works better as a series of snapshots than as a complete piece, but it has some strong moments. Especially powerful for me is the moment when, on being startled by a village elder, Filsan reflexively squeezes her gun’s trigger – and simply cannot process the fact that she has caused someone’s death. I’ll look forward to reading that new novel.
This is part of a series of posts on Granta 123: Best of Young British Novelists 4. Click here to read the rest.