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Annie Gagiano Reviews Tropical Fish: Tales from Entebbe by Doreen Baingana

Tropical Fish : Tales from EntebbeVerdict: carrot

Doreen Baingana’s collection of interlinked short stories titled Tropical Fish, after one of the sections, is a multinarrative concerning three middle-class Ugandan sisters: Christine, Patti and Rosa (in the order of their appearance in the text), which is from youngest to eldest to second-eldest. Even though they are sisters and there are obvious links between their stories, the three are remarkably different from one another as personalities and in a way all three are quite lonely people who seem not to share their thoughts and innermost feelings with one another, or even with anyone else. In a way, then, all the narratives in the text’s eight chapters (several of them having appeared previously as short stories) are interior monologues, where reported exchanges with others in social contexts do feature, but the inner life remains private.

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