We Are All Birds of Uganda
‘You can’t stop birds from flying, can you, Sameer? They go where they will.’ 1960s UGANDA. Hasan is struggling to run his family business following the sudden death of his wife. Just as he begins to see a way forward, a new regime seizes power, and a wave of rising prejudice threatens to sweep away everything he has built. Present-day London. Sameer, a young high-flying lawyer, senses an emptiness in what he thought was the life of his dreams. Called back to his family home by an unexpected tragedy, Sameer begins to find the missing pieces of himself not in his future plans, but in a past he never knew. Moving between two continents and several generations over a troubled century, ‘We Are All Birds of Uganda’ is a multi-layered, moving, and immensely resonant novel of love, loss, and what it means to find home.
WINNER of the Merky Books New Writers’ Prize
‘A remarkably accomplished, polished debut.’ MALORIE BLACKMAN
‘Rightfully tipped for greatness’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘This moving tale of love and loss … is well worth the wait’ INDEPENDENT
‘[W]hat’s distinctive is the modern, multi-ethnic vision of masculinity she presents and the solidarity that emerges from it … undeniably powerful too.’ GUARDIAN
‘[A] sprawling and epic dual narrative … woven together with gentle urgency; sensitive and with a rare perspective on how our mixed race backgrounds can help form feelings of both internal power and conflict.’ I-D MAGAZINE
‘You can’t stop birds from flying, can you, Sameer? They go where they will…’
1960s UGANDA. Hasan struggles to keep his family business afloat following the sudden death of his wife. As he begins to put his shattered life back together piece by piece, a new regime seizes power, and a wave of rising prejudice threatens to sweep away everything he has built.
Present-day LONDON. Sameer, a young high-flying lawyer, senses an emptiness in what he thought was the life of his dreams. Called back to his family home by an unexpected tragedy, Sameer begins to find the missing pieces of himself not in his future plans, but in a heritage he never knew.
Moving between two continents over a troubled century, We Are All Birds of Uganda is an immensely resonant novel that explores racial tensions, generational divides and what it means to belong.
It is the first work of fiction by Hafsa Zayyan, co-winner of the inaugural #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize, and one of the most exciting young novelists of today.
Stylist‘s Best Fiction 2021
The Independent‘s January Book of the Month
Marie Claire’s January Book of the Month
Refinery29 Reads: The Books We’re Picking Up This January
The British Blacklist: January To Be Read List
As featured in the Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Observer, TLS, Monocle
Chosen as ‘Book Club Choice’ on Steve Wright’s BBC Radio 2 Book Club
Readers have been entranced by We Are All Birds of Uganda:
‘I can’t find the words to describe how much I adored every, single, beautiful word of this totally amazing story. If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would.’
‘A truly remarkable debut … I have found a new favourite author’
‘This is one of the best books I have read in a long time and the writing is exceptional. A truly remarkable debut novel that I will shout about from the rooftops.’
‘An absolute gem’
‘Meticulously crafted, beautifully and thoughtfully written … an absolute pleasure to read.’
‘Beautifully written … extremely accomplished and readable’