The White Mosque

Catapult. Oct. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781646220977. $27.99. MEMOIR
Voluptuous with imagery and lush with language, this gorgeous memoir of travel and discovery is a perfect summer read. Award-winning fantasy novelist Samatar (The Winged Histories) explores the even more magical and mysterious world of memory and history. Taking readers along on her trip to Uzbekistan in search of a particularly prophetic piece of her family’s Mennonite past, she comes to see herself, her family, and her world in a new light. Her mother, a Mennonite missionary from North Dakota, and her father, a Somali shepherd who taught Somali to missionaries, remind readers that no one is as simple as they seem. Filled with lyrical meditations on faith and community, plus beautiful descriptions of Uzbekistan, Samatar has created something almost transcendent. On her journey, she reveals the mystery of the Mennonite minister Claas Epp Jr., who convinced a group of Russian Mennonites to follow him into the deserts of Central Asia to await the second coming of Christ. Samatar’s writing is engaging, enticing, and a gift. This is not only a great book but also an important one. Not to be missed.
VERDICT Essential for public, academic, and school libraries.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing