Reviews

reviews

“Although written by a non-Muslim, the portrait of Islam in Sweetness in the Belly is superbly nuanced and feels real.” Republika Indonesia

“[a] tender and thoughtful novel…Gibb’s flowing and confident storytelling makes great reading…Gibb manages to capture and share movingly and beautifully the pains of being an outsider, a refugee from a war-torn country, and a Sufi Muslim. She has gathered a faithful following and I suspect will be one of the young writers who, like a breath of fresh air, will make a difference in the literary world.” Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil – Malaysia ’s Minister of Women, Family and Development – Malaysia Star

“Gibb captures the intricate beauty of Islam through the eyes of a true pilgrim…Rife with irony, the novel finds beauty in even the most devastating of human tragedies and challenges the traditional notion of “foreigner.” Constructed with intricacy and sensitivity…” Canadian Literature

“A sophisticated, ambitious and deeply affecting novel which is devastatingly relevant to our contemporary world.” Giller Prize jury

“This compelling first-person account…offers scenes of both harrowing limbo and joyful uplift. The novel subtly engages topical questions of both politics and faith, but ultimately it is the author’s sustained psychological acuity and uncanny empathy in detailing Lilly’s life lessons that lend this book its vital depth, charm and staying power.” Trillium Prize jury

“Sweetness in the Belly” is fun and easy to read above all, it is a book that depicts in a very powerful way the Ethiopian condition, a condition of love, tolerance, endurance, optimism and triumph… this writer is grateful for bringing the human-condition in Ethiopian into the foreEthiopian Observer

“Sweetness In The Belly is remarkable for its geographic, thematic and historic amplitude and breadth, depicting the multi-cultural and modern world. Gibb, singled out as one of the Orange Futures writers, is certainly one to watch.” The Birmingham Post

“This engrossing book seems utterly convincing and authentic. The glimpse it offers into the intimate lives of Muslim women and Ethiopian life and clan and national politics is sharp and moving…but there are also many sequences of lovely stillness (that) anchor the novel in beautifully evoked, everyday reality. Lilly’s voice is so believable that her story immediately seems true, so true that at times it almost convinces a reader that this might be an actual ethnographic manuscript rather than fiction. That’s a triumph, isn’t it?

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