The Two Hearts Of Kwasi Boachi

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9780099287872: The Two Hearts Of Kwasi Boachi

In 1837, two young African princes arrive at the court of Willem I in the Netherlands. They have been given to the Dutch by the King of the Ashanti as surety in a deal over illegal slave trading. The two boys think they have been sent to acquire a European education, but time passes. They forget their native language and become exiles. Treated as curiosities by white people, their friendship suffers and their paths diverge. Years later, as the twentieth century dawns, the elderly Kwasi, now owner of a coffee plantation in Java, sits down to write his autobiography. Based on a true story, The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi is both a brilliant piece of storytelling and a moving portrayal of the search for identity and belonging.

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Review:

Arthur Japin's first novel The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi, ably translated by Ina Rilke, is based on the experiences of two Ashanti princes taken to Holland for their education in matters European in 1837. It is written in the first person by one of them--the eponymous Kwasi Boachi--who is the son of the king of the Ashanti, but not the heir to the throne because succession is matrilineal.

The novel provides a fascinating account of many developments in 19th-century European and colonial history from Kwasi's singular vantage point. Revered by the royalty in Holland because he too is royal, despised and feared by most of his schoolmates because he is black and exotic, unable to return home because he is now more Dutch than Ashanti, unable fully to become Dutch, Kwasi is perpetually out of place. This gives him fresh insight into many of the developments we associate with the 19th century--the invention of the photograph, ethnographic freak shows, phrenology, to name a few.

Kwasi's attempts to integrate are contrasted with those of his cousin, Kwame, who eschews things western and longs for home. Their diverging aspirations and destinies poignantly counterpoint each other. Japin has written a superb and sophisticated novel, refusing all the easy dichotomies--black/white, self/other, civilised/primitive--that structure so many imaginings of the colonial world. The novel carries its immense learning with remarkable lightness, never allowing its asides on Ashanti customs, colonial intrigue or Dutch dynastic squabbles to distract from a gripping and moving story.--Neville Hoad

Review:

"Beautifully crafted and spellbinding" ( Daily Mail)

"A bravura rendering of historical detail... Japin's greatest accomplishment is the narrator's tone in which the voice of an embittered old man merges with that of a perceptive but scared and betrayed child" ( Independent on Sunday)

"An elegant and ultimately moving fictional reworking of another troubling chapter of Europeans in Africa and Africans in Europe" (Caryl Phillips)

"Mesmerising... Like Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha, Japin's ventriloquism is virtually flawless" ( Time Out)

"A deeply humane book about a spectacularly exotic subject" ( New York Times Book Review)

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Japin, Arthur
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1837, two young African princes arrive at the court of Willem I in the Netherlands. They have been given to the Dutch by the King of the Ashanti as surety in a deal over illegal slave trading. The two boys think they have been sent to acquire a European education, but time passes. They forget their native language and become exiles. Treated as curiosities by white people, their friendship suffers and their paths diverge. Years later, as the twentieth century dawns, the elderly Kwasi, now owner of a coffee plantation in Java, sits down to write his autobiography. Based on a true story, The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi is both a brilliant piece of storytelling and a moving portrayal of the search for identity and belonging. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099287872

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Japin, Arthur
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1837, two young African princes arrive at the court of Willem I in the Netherlands. They have been given to the Dutch by the King of the Ashanti as surety in a deal over illegal slave trading. The two boys think they have been sent to acquire a European education, but time passes. They forget their native language and become exiles. Treated as curiosities by white people, their friendship suffers and their paths diverge. Years later, as the twentieth century dawns, the elderly Kwasi, now owner of a coffee plantation in Java, sits down to write his autobiography. Based on a true story, The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi is both a brilliant piece of storytelling and a moving portrayal of the search for identity and belonging. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099287872

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Book Description 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 198mm x 21mm. Paperback. In 1837, two young African princes arrive at the court of Willem 1 in the Netherlands. They have been given to the Dutch by the King of the Ashanti as surety in a deal they have brokered .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 352 pages. 0.250. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099287872

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi, Arthur Japin, Ina Rilke, In 1837, two young African princes arrive at the court of Willem I in the Netherlands. They have been given to the Dutch by the King of the Ashanti as surety in a deal over illegal slave trading. The two boys think they have been sent to acquire a European education, but time passes. They forget their native language and become exiles. Treated as curiosities by white people, their friendship suffers and their paths diverge. Years later, as the twentieth century dawns, the elderly Kwasi, now owner of a coffee plantation in Java, sits down to write his autobiography. Based on a true story, The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi is both a brilliant piece of storytelling and a moving portrayal of the search for identity and belonging. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099287872

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Book Description Vintage, 2001. Book Condition: New. In 1837, two young African princes arrive at the court of Willem I in the Netherlands. Treated as curiosities by white people, their friendship suffers and their paths diverge. Years later, as the 20th century dawns, the elderly Kwasi sits down to write his autobiography. Translator(s): Rilke, Ina. Num Pages: 352 pages, Illustrations, ports. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 131 x 22. Weight in Grams: 252. . 2001. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099287872

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; In 1837, two young African princes arrive at the court of Willem I in the Netherlands. They have been given to the Dutch by the King of the Ashanti as surety in a deal over illegal slave trading. The two boys think they have been sent to acquire a European education, but time passes. They forget the. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780099287872_rkm

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. In 1837, two young African princes arrive at the court of Willem I in the Netherlands. Treated as curiosities by white people, their friendship suffers and their paths diverge. Years later, as the 20th century dawns, the elderly Kwasi sits down to write his autobiography. Translator(s): Rilke, Ina. Num Pages: 352 pages, Illustrations, ports. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 131 x 22. Weight in Grams: 252. . 2001. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099287872

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Book Description Vintage, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New Book. Shipping: Once your order has been confirmed and payment received, your order will then be processed. The book will be located by our staff, packaged and despatched to you as quickly as possible. From time to time, items get mislaid en route. If your item fails to arrive, please contact us first. We will endeavour to trace the item for you and where necessary, replace or refund the item. Please do not leave negative feedback without contacting us first. All orders will be dispatched within two working days. If you have any quesions please contact us. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099287872

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