Omar Musa’s skills as a poet, rapper and playwright are combined in his debut novel, a coming-of-age story with few precedents in our local context. Here Come the Dogs unfolds in a mix of poetry and prose that manages to be combative and rhapsodic simultaneously. It is a vessel ideally shaped to hold the tough, febrile and tender experiences of young men who dwell on the margins of society.
Musa proves himself a superb anatomist of aggrieved masculinity, and his depiction of the experiences of ‘Generation 1.5’ — severed from their source culture but still not fully settled in their new home — turns a sociological phenomenon into a living wound. Musa brings street-level knowledge to this story, and embeds that knowledge in a literary context without taming the anger that first inspired it.