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How to Be a Revolutionary by C.A. Davids
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How to Be a Revolutionary

Best Seller
How to Be a Revolutionary by C.A. Davids
Paperback
Feb 08, 2022 | ISBN 9781839760877

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Praise

“C.A. Davids is one of South Africa’s most innovative writers. In How to be a Revolutionary she has written a global novel which explores the hopes and disappointments of twentieth-century revolutions in a series of vivid portraits, one of which is a sensitively realised vision of Langston Hughes. How to be a Revolutionary is a novel that will interest anybody who has found out in his or her personal life how difficult—yet how necessary—it is to try to change the world.”
—Imraan Coovadia, author of A Spy in Time

“An ambitious book, brimming with subtle insights and documenting the human cost of oppression and injustice on three continents.”
— Vikas Swarup, author of Slumdog Millionaire

“I loved How To Be A Revolutionary. This placing side by side of a Chinese, a South African, and an African American together should not work, yet she makes it do so authentically. It is a brave book and I pray that the world reads it with as much delight as I have and sees what a beautiful thing C.A. Davids has created.”
— Jennifer Nansuguba Makumbi, author of The First Woman / A Girl is a Body of Water

How To Be A Revolutionary is that rare political thriller with an epic sweep. Deftly interweaving upheavals in three countries, C.A. Davids brilliantly dissects the ways we deceive ourselves and fail to live up to our highest ideals while still holding out hope that we can yet wake up and make atonements.”
— Nawaaz Ahmed, author of Radiant Fugitives

How to be a Revolutionary is a potent and timely meditation on the on-going global struggle for truth, justice, and transparency. Compellingly written and beautifully composed, the novel is both an evocation of the inherent relationship between the personal and the political and a moving testament to how different manifestations of courage are shaped by the unique challenges of the contexts from which they emerge.”
— Ladee Hubbard, author of The Rib King and The Talented Ribkins, winner of the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award

How to be a Revolutionary draws a line of startling connection from Harlem to Shanghai to Cape Town, traveling through the twentieth century and right up to the present. Part literary thriller for the age of rampant state surveillance, part excavation of the kinds of memories that shame nations, it tells stories of ordinary people united by a determination to improve the lot of the many, often at great personal risk to themselves. Through a virtuosic summoning of voices, each clear in its register and compelling in its force, Davids has written a book of and for the moment through which we are living. It is a brave and necessary work, illuminating the complex energies that tie together North and South, East and West, in surprising and often chilling ways. This is a novel of astonishing empathetic powers.”
— Patrick Flanery, author of I Am No One

“C.A. Davids is a wonder, moving effortlessly between generations and continents, through whispers and whirlwinds, conjuring up not only the physical details of four very different places, but their emotional thrum as well. And all the while, she keeps a steady eye on her characters, who reconcile life’s injustices and indignities by simply refusing to live by lies. It’s the rare novel that prompts your mind to range far and wide, your lungs to breathe more deeply. I loved it.”
— Brigid Pasulka, author of The Sun and Other Stars

How to Be a Revolutionary is a novel about the costs of remembering the past and the far more dire consequences of forgetting it.”
—Eileen Gonzalez, Foreword

“South African novelist Davids delivers a politically charged story of love and espionage. An intriguing story that…winds its way to an elegantly satisfying conclusion.”
Kirkus Review

“Deeply rewarding and pleasurable.”
—Khairani Barokka, White Review (“Books of the Year 2021”)

“There is much to admire here: Davids is excellent on the grind of daily life under repressive regimes, whether it be the brutal terror of apartheid South Africa or the technocratic surveillance state that is present-day China.”
—Peter Whittaker, New Internationalist

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