[Read Epub] ⚆ The Moor's Account ♆ Famulantenaustausch.de

1527 350 . 4.5 In 1527 ships with six hundred men sailed from Castile across the Ocean of Fog and Darkness with the goal to claim the land and riches of present day Florida and the gulf coast areas of the United States They were searching for a kingdom of gold but encountered instead, hurricanes, shipwreck, starvation, disease, alligators, murder, cannibalism, and mutiny, while decisively squandering any opportunity to endear indigenous tribes to their cause Only four would make it out alive Their conquest would later be documented by one of them, Cabeza de Vaca From his testimony, as well as many other sources, the author has composed a fascinating novel based on historical events The first person narrative is told from the unique perspective of one survivor, Mustafa Zemmouri, aka Estebanico, a black Muslim from northern Africa.Lalami alternates the first half of the tale with an imaginative story set in his own country and life as a free man prior to enslavement and conscription into this life altering expedition.In his praise of this work, writer Ngugi wa Thiong o wrote She gives name to the unnamed, agency to the sidelined she takes them from footnotes into the footprints that make up the pages of this remarkable novel giving voice to the silences of history Upon finishing I dug deeper and was pleased to learn that Cabeza de Vaca would return to Spain eight years later and argue for better treatment of the Indians It was a wasted effort of course, how could needed slaves and riches come from that It was my belief that the legacy of all Spanish conquistadores was completely merciless so he deserves a shout out.I thought I might struggle with this Pulitzer prize finalist While not exactly a page turner and heavy with historical fact, her prose kept me engaged and it was smooth sailing on a rewarding book adventure Historical literary fiction at its finest entertaining, educational, and obviously deserving of the accolades received. [Read Epub] ♦ The Moor's Account ♫ In , The Conquistador P Nfilo De Narv Ez Sailed From The Port Of Sanl Car De Barrameda With A Crew Of Six Hundred Men And Nearly A Hundred Horses His Goal Was To Claim What Is Now The Gulf Coast Of The United States For The Spanish Crown And, In The Process, Become As Wealthy And Famous As Hern N Cort SBut From The Moment The Narv Ez Expedition Landed In Florida, It Faced Peril Navigational Errors, Disease, Starvation, As Well As Resistance From Indigenous Tribes Within A Year There Were Only Four Survivors The Expedition S Treasurer, Lvar N Ez Cabeza De Vaca A Spanish Nobleman Named Alonso Del Castillo Maldonado A Young Explorer Named Andr S Dorantes De Carranza And Dorantes S Moroccan Slave, Mustafa Al Zamori, Whom The Three Spaniards Called Estebanico These Four Survivors Would Go On To Make A Journey Across America That Would Transform Them From Proud Conquistadores To Humble Servants, From Fearful Outcasts To Faith Healers In Cabeza de Vaca s account of his epic adventures as part of the ill fated Narv ez Expedition, the Spanish explorer devotes only a single line to Estevanico, one of the four survivors, along with de Vaca El cuarto se llama Estevanico, es negro al rabe, natural de Azamor. Roughly translated, it reads The fourth survivor is Estevanico, an Arab Negro from Azamor According to Laila Lalami, this is all we know about Estebanico as she spells it just a handful of unadorned words That is not strictly true, as Lalami herself knows But her point is well taken Other than the bare facts of this man s life his name, his birthplace, his route he is lost to history He was part of an extraordinary journey that blundered through parts of present day Florida and Texas Out of some 300 men who began an overland excursion beginning near Tampa Bay, only four men are known to have survived The rest fell due to starvation, disease, drowning, and Indian attacks The perseverance of de Vaca and his compa eros comprises one of history s greatest survival narratives Yet we are at an absolute loss as to how this affected Estebanico What did he think about it How did he feel The Moor s Account steps in to fill all those gaps It is written as the first person memoir of Mustafa ibn Muhammad ibn Abdussalam al Zamori and purports to be a true account of his life and travels from the city of Azemmur to the Land of the Indians The novel opens in the year 934 of the Hegira 1528 Estebanico renamed when he became a slave has landed on the shores of La Florida with his master, Dorantes, part of an expedition led by Panfilo Narv ez Being Spaniards, naturally, they are looking for gold We join the story at the moment when Narv ez makes the fateful decision to split his company in two One party is to go by land to Apalache in search of precious metal the other is to go by sea, sailing up the coast to meet them Suffice to say, the two groups did not meet again Contemporary rendering of Panfilo Narv ez, leader of La Florida expedition Lalami initially chooses to tell her story in alternating chapters each one titled The Story of fill in the noun that intersperses Estebanico s time in America with flashbacks to his life in Morocco Both timelines are equally well done The expedition sequences, unsurprisingly, are fraught with drama, much of it centered around the expedition s encounter with various Indian tribes There are betrayals, battles, and ambushes as Spanish and Indian come into contact for the first time Lalami does an exceptional job of evoking the unfamiliar geography, and its disorienting impact on Estebanico and the rest We follow him into strange villages, across dangerous rivers, and through heavy forests We are made to feel the heat, the hunger, the mosquitoes All the while, the expedition is whittled away Just keep going left That s where the Gold Cities are The flashback chapters to Azemmur are somewhat quieter, but work to inform us of Estebanico s life before he became a slave Lalami lets him trace the arc of his pre expedition life through a series of vignettes that begin with the story of Estebanico s birth He tells how he chose to become a merchant, how he succumbed to greed He even bought and sold slaves before becoming one himself These chapters also serve to develop Lalami s chief theme, that of the power of storytelling to shape our lives Even as a slave, with little to no legal existence, save that of property, Estebanico uses the tales from his own past to define his humanity His story is the one thing that cannot be taken from him Though, of course, the historical reality is that the stories of non whites and women have been ignored, lost, or never solicited in the first place.One of the criticisms I ve seen of The Moor s Account is that Estebanico is a univocal character, a man who is almost anachronistic in his progressiveness He is a friend to the Indians, seeing in them fellow travelers He studiously avoids the physical and sexual violence perpetrated by the Spaniards His worldview is, frankly, pretty modern and enlightened Lalami has also been accused of creating a simplistic, uncomplicated moral universe wherein the whites are villains and the nonwhites are not Neither critique is entirely apt Estebanico admits to being a slaver himself, and explores that aspect of his character He also spends much of his life in thrall to the same gold that motivates the Spaniards Similarly, the Spanish characters are given a certain dynamism that expands and constricts according to how close to civilization they are Dorantes, for instance, is a slave master, but is not a mustache twirling heavy There comes a point where he and Estebanico are equals The survivors of Narv ez s disastrous vision await the gold they ve been told will come in with the tide Besides, it s asking a bit much for Lalami to go to the effort of putting a marginalized viewpoint front and center, just to make him into a raging asshole In La Relaci n, lvar N ez Cabeza de Vaca made himself the hero of his own story Isn t it fair that Estebanico n e Mustafa ibn Muhammad ibn Abdussalam al Zamori gets to be the hero in his The answer to that hypothetical question is supposed to be yes With that said, there were some things I didn t like Occasionally, Estebanico s voice becomes a bit detached For instance, he describes an Indian battle with all the fervor of a man describing his breakfast Obviously, when dealing with a first person narrator, it s generally safe to assume that person lives Still, the disconnectedness of tone tends to flatten the drama and lower the stakes Lalami also infuses Estebanico with an irritating prudishness He turns away from describing certain things he sees, especially when it comes to matters of a carnal nature This is in fitting with the background of an educated Muslim, I suppose But it also makes Estebanico less rounded as a person I mean, doesn t the guy have urges History is tilted in favor of winners over losers, of written traditions over oral traditions Accordingly, diversity of viewpoint can be difficult to achieve in nonfiction, even if an author is trying his or her best Millions of stories have disappeared because they were never put to paper or, if they were written, because they were neglected or lost One of the top virtues of historical fiction is that it can be used to bridge gaps in our knowledge Imagination can be used to give life to people we know existed, but who lack a paper trail Fiction, then, can at times bring us closer to the truth than the most thoroughly researched tome. Oh dear, I seem stuck in the doldrums a bit not really passionately engaging with any books recently except maybe A Little Life, and I m still not sure whether that engagement was healthy.Lalami has great raw material for her historical fiction about Estebanico, the first African to explore the Americas or at least the first so recorded Or perhaps I should say she has a great seed because apparently almost nothing is known about the historical Estebanico, other than that he was a Berber from Morocco who came to North America as a slave in 1527 as part of the Narvaez expedition, and become one of only 4 survivors of that ill fated journey.So far so good Tales of first encounters of all kinds, exploration, hardship, new worlds to discover and conquer A lot to be fascinated by here.But I don t think Lalami can quite cut her 21st century ties here and if you ask me, who can , I will say that at a minimum historical fiction writers owe it to their readers to make sure their modern baggage doesn t thump loudly at every step For Estebanico, that means saintly wisdom and perception It means being a Black man who perceives himself as such, and thus as an interlocutor between Indian and white It means perceiving the wisdom and goodness in Native American cultures and never assuming that either his native Moroccan or his enforced adopted Spanish culture iscivilized or better governed than the Native cultures he encounters That s mighty enlightened for a man in 2015, never mind one in 1527, and especially surprising for a man from Morocco, a place that was as alluded to briefly briefly in this novel a birthplace of both empire and slave trade long before the Europeans could get their act together sufficiently to dream such things It was disappointing to say the least to see 21st century ideas about race simply transported back in time 600 years Indeed, I query whether a Native American meeting for the first time ever members of any other race except his own upon encountering a Spaniard and a Moroccan who had spent several years living in the open air and weather of all seasons, and who are at this point wearing the same rags, would even recognize those two men as being of different races from each other or whether it is perhapslikely that he would simply focus on their being other from himself Who can say for sure but since race is largely socially constructed it seems improbable that its construction would be the same then as now Moreover, Estebanico doesn t rape, he doesn t pillage indeed, he lies awake cringing when his fellows do such things , he doesn t eat human flesh even when everyone around him is doing it , he doesn t murder His first sexual encounter in the New World comes in wedlock at the age of 30 with a woman he faithfully treats as his intellectual and political equal and while he s rich in furs, jewels and food, it s because such things have been GIFTED him for his unusual empathy in forging the healing traditions of three cultures in stark contrast to his conquistadore fellows So our hero is a bit too uni dimensional for my tastes Meanwhile, we spend the middle chunk of the book wandering from Native American tribe to Native American tribe on Kindle at least without any sort of map an anchoring device that would have been MOST welcome and after a while the tribes start to seem much the same All are rather saintly themselves none practice slavery or other white men s vices and when Estabenico meets a transgendered person which we know did exist in some tribes , his reaction is much as you might hope a cultured East Coaster s of the last decade would be Again, great source material and a great spark, reasonably well written, but too PC and univocal to interest me as historical fiction. Very interesting and well done historical fiction account of the Spanish Narv ez expedition of 1527 that was sent to colonize Florida Upon sailing into the Tampa area, Narv ez the commander of the armada split his contingent in two, with half staying in the gulf with the ships and the other half heading north on foot to look for a rich kingdom called Apalache, which supposedly had great quantities of gold and other precious metals 300 officers, soldiers, friars and settlers set off, only to become lost and permanently separated from the ships that bore them Over 8 years, the 300 dwindled to 4 through famine, disease, battles with indigenous Indian tribes, enslavement, alligators, and cannibalism In the course of those 8 years, the 4 survivors lvar N ez Cabeza de Vaca, Alonso del Castillo Maldonado, Andr s Dorantes de Carranza, and his enslaved Moor Estebanico traveled mostly on foot from Tampa, Florida to Mexico City Cabeza de Vaca s 1542 written account of this ordeal the first written account of North America make up the bones of Lalami s story Her narrator is the Moor slave, Mustafa, renamed Estebanico by his master, Dorantes Mustafa weaves the fictional story of his life and how he came to become enslaved with the story of the ill fated expedition It s absolutely fascinating The very best books are the ones that make the past bloom into vivid life and transport you to a lost place and time I loved learning about the culture and lifestyles of the various southern American and Mexican Indian tribes And the treachery and callousness of humans Castillians and Indians alike will make you shake your head with despair.This book was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for fiction in 2015 I loved it and highly recommend it It s not an easy read lots of detail and people to keep track of but an amazing story. The Moor s Account is a historical fiction novel about P nfilo de Narv ez s expedition into the land that would eventually be called Florida.This tale is told from the point of view of a slave named Mustafa al Zamori, called Estebanico by the Spanish man who owned himThis book is the humble work of Mustafa ibn Muhammad ibn Abdussalam al Zamori, being a true account of his life and travels from the city of Azemmur to the Land of the Indians, where he arrived as a slave and, in his attempt to return to freedom, was shipwrecked and lost for many years. pg 9, ebook.Though the historical figure of Estebanico actually existed, Laila Lalami writes that she invented the majority of this story The real Estebanico was only granted one line or so in the written history of the failed expeditionI was also curious about this land because I had heard, or overheard, from my master and his friends, so many stories about the Indians The Indians, they said, had red skin and no eyelids they were heathens who made human sacrifices and worshipped evil looking gods they drank mysterious concoctions that gave them visions they walked about in their natural state, even the women a claim I found so hard to believe that I had dismissed it out of handpg 12, ebook.Imagine the culture shock of the two different civilizations coming together the European and the New World The Moor s Account explores that through Mustafa s unique personal experience.Mustafa s early life is told in flashbacks throughout the beginning of the book His mother likes to instruct him about the realities of life through storiesNothing new has ever happened to a son of Adam, she said Everything has already been lived and everything has already been told If only we listened to storiespg 58, ebook If only we listened to stories right, readersI thought of what the elders teach us love is like a camel s hump, for it cannot be disguisedpg 180, ebook Though dismissive of his mother s methods, much of the way Mustafa interprets reality is told through metaphors or storiesMaybe there is no true story, only imagined stories, vague reflections of what we saw and what we heard, what we felt and what we thought Maybe if our experiences, in all of their glorious, magnificent colors, were somehow added up, they would lead us to the blinding light of truthpg 323, ebook.It is easy to see why The Moor s Account was a Pulitzer Prize finalist It is unique, layered and beautiful Recommended for readers who enjoy historical fiction and memoirs Though fiction, it reads as if it really happened And, who knows, maybe in some form or another, it actually did. . Mustafa ibn Muhammad is about to discover how fragile are the threads that tie together the fabric of our lives The year is 1527, and this once wealthy Moroccan trader has sold himself to a Spanish captain in order that his family may eat There s a certain irony about this, as Mustafa had been involved in the slave trade himself before his life collapsed around him That same year the conquistador Panfilo de Narvaez, together with 600 crew, sailed for what is now known as the Gulf Coast in the United States Mustafa, now known by his slave name Estebanico, is one of them After arriving in this new world, the men are soon faced with disease, a lack of navigational competence, starvation, and resistance from the indigenous tribes After one year there are just four survivors One of them is Estebanico The Narvaez expedition is well documented, and the surviving slave is mentioned in one of the documents What the author has done here is taken a factual event and written a fictional tale from the point of view of Estebanico This is a really well written, absorbing tale, with a different perspective on this historical event Thank you to Goodreads for this first reads giveaway, and to the author for the enjoyment given ,.