I’ve never really been a fan of biographies. I’ve just not been able to connect with the idea of an author setting out to tell the story of another. Biography is essentially written with the help of extensive research, both primary or secondary: the former involving talking directly to the source or subject of the work, and the latter being through exploring different documents to piece together a story.
This is something that has drastically shifted since reading Kamal’s story as told by Gerard van Leeuwen.
Van Leeuwen tells us right off the bat in the prologue where he met Kamal, the subject of this biography. We learn straight away how he came to learning the complex, sometimes unbelievable, details of Kamal’s life from birth until their meeting.