The House of Rust
“A novel stuffed to bursting with marvels and fairy-tale delights. Khadija Abdalla Bajaber casts a mighty spell.”—Kelly Link
Caught between her grandmother’s wish to safeguard her happiness with marriage and her own desire for adventure, Aisha is pushed toward a match with a sweet local boy that she doesn’t want. But before she can fight her way to independence—as embodied in the book by the mirage-like House of Rust—she must first gain experience and skills to vanquish Almassi, the imprisoned snake-demon ruler of Mombasa. Khadija Abdalla Bajaber’s debut is a magical realist coming-of-age tale told through the lens of the Swahili and diasporic Hadrami culture in Mombasa, Kenya. Richly descriptive and written with an imaginative hand and sharp eye for unusual detail, The House of Rust is a memorable novel by a thrilling new voice.
“[The House of Rust] will enchant the reader. . . . Khadija Abdalla Bajaber is a radiant addition to the constellations of transcultural literature.”—Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor