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Chief Nchindia held the Elders of his Council in total contempt, inwardly vowing to disagree with them at every point where disagreement was possible. What starts like a big joke develops into grim tragedy: the statue of the god of Nkokonoko Small Monje is discovered to have been stolen and sold to a white man! The tradition demands instant execution of the culprits. Was their Chief involved in the theft? What was worse, the crime or the punishment? Linus Asong was born in the South West Region of Cameroon in 1947. With a combined B.A honours in Education, in 1980 he entered the University of Windsor in Canada whence he graduated with a terminal degree in Creative Writing. He holds an M.A and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Alberta, in Edmonton Canada, and is presently Associate Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at Ecole Normale Superieure Bambili (University of Yaounde 1). Asong is a stand-up humorist, a consummate portrait painter, an accomplished literary scholar, and a celebrated prolific writer with over a dozen novels to his credit.
Crooms's vision of a new Ape Yard, rebuilt by its own residents, unites the four-and puts them on a collision course with Doc Bobo, a smalltown Machiavelli who rules the community like a feudal lord. Jeff Fields's exuberantly defined characters and his firmly rooted sense of place have earned A Cry of Angels an intensely loyal following. Its republication, more than three decades since it first appeared, is cause for celebration.
Cup Man and Other Stories is a collection of eight fictional short stories on themes such as the intrigues of the civil service, drunkenness, theft, matrimonial relations and living as an African immigrant in the West. The stories are a reflection of everyday life with all that goes with it. Each story is complete it itself, with all its humour, wit and figures of speech. Azonga's attention to detail and alert memory enable him to draw on memory and things past in a fascinating way. He excels in the craft of using simple and down-to-earth language, a factor which makes the collection an easy and compelling read.
Always, mortality threatens the lovers' embrace. In the title story, Jim and his HIV-positive partner contend with an illness that has fueled their love but also threatens to consume it. In some stories, an outsider exposes the frailty of a relationship. Claire, who's opted for a steady marriage in "The Loss of Green," is both stirred and repelled by the advances of her former mate Sam, a radical environmentalist with a predatory need to reassert his claim on her. And in "Behold the Handmaid of the Lord," Debbie, compelled to translate a brief affair with her cousin's fiancé into a profound transgression, comes clean on a sleazy national talk show.
All of Brady's stories are gritty and unflinching in their gaze, yet lyrical and rich in the imagery of stasis and change--an empty house too long on the market, a pair of kayakers riding out a patch of rough sea, a greenhouse in which the orchid blooms only suggest the darting vitality of butterflies and birds. There is much to learn in these tales of flawed but good people working hard to hold their lives together.
Kirkwood's slender, desolate-feeling first novel, set between the California desert and L.A., hinges on an intricate emotional triangle revolving around a teenage runaway. Alexandra, a middle-aged transvestite living a celibate life on the Salton Sea, befriends the runaway, Olivia, at the girl's desert campsite before Olivia disappears. Eleanor, an L.A. plastic surgeon and a lonely lesbian, saw Olivia once in her office and later unknowingly gives a consult to Olivia's unstable mother, Asa, who has for several years cleaned Eleanor's office at night and begins to track the surgeon's whereabouts once she discovers the doctor's connection to Olivia. Meanwhile, Alexandra, enjoying a flirtation with the surgeon that begins after a body that might be Olivia's is found, stays at Eleanor's canyon home for a month, visited occasionally by Asa, disguised as a door-to-door cosmetics saleswoman. Once Kirkwood maps out the particulars, every maneuver on the part of these characters is fraught with tension. Kirkwood's exploration of personal and spiritual metamorphosis is all the more powerful for its surprising subtleties.
A year after her husband’s death in a sailing accident off Martha’s Vineyard, Ellen Boisvert bumps into an old friend. In this chance encounter, she discovers that her immigrant husband of almost fifteen years was not an orphan after all. Instead, his aged mother Jo is alive and residing on the family’s isolated farm in the west of Ireland. Faced with news of her mother-in-law incarnate, the thirty-nine-year-old American prep school teacher decides to travel to Ireland to investigate the truth about her husband Fintan and why he kept his family’s existence a secret for so many years. Between Jo’s hilltop farm and the lakeside village of Gowna, Ellen begins to uncover the mysteries of her Irish husband’s past and the cruelties and isolation of his rural childhood. Ellen also stumbles upon Fintan’s long-ago romance with a local village woman, with whom he had a daughter, Cat. Cat is now fourteen and living with her mother in London. As Ellen reconciles her troubled relationship with Fintan, she discovers a way to heal the wounds of the past.
Encompassing a vast gamut of personalities, situations, and emotions, these stories penetrate our motives for doing what is right. Often there is no right or wrong, and the characters' motives for the choices they make are as diverse as the childhood memories they cherish and abhor. In the end, this book probes individual impulse and responsibility, creating stories so unerringly authentic that they become—irrepressibly—part of everyone who reads them.
"The Darkness of Love" narrates three days in the life of a black policeman, distressed by his inner fears of racism and irresistibly attracted by his wife's sister. In "Dancing in the Movies" a college student returns to his hometown, where he finds his girlfriend—a heroin addict—and tries to convince her to overcome her habit. There are stories of men at war, of lovers trying to begin a relationship, of others trying to sustain their love. Each story revolves around characters with a choice to make, and Robert Boswell renders these characters in all of their fine, vulnerable, and relentless attributes.
With this prize-winning collection, Boswell proves himself a mature craftsperson, weaving stories both poignant and profound. Each story is a vision of life, alternately dark and joyous, gritty and hopeful.
Tales from the Township
Dancing with Life is a collection of short stories by Christopher Mlalazi. He has had stories published in anthologies inside and outside Zimbabwe, this is his first collection. "Christopher Mlalazi may well be the most promising young writer in Zimbabwe today. His fiction captures the edgy energy of townships where young people have learned to be light on their feet, their dancing born of economic necessity and mocking disrespect for traditional authority. Mlalazi depicts contemporary life in Zimbabwe with an uncompromising determination to explore grievous social wounds and with a creative panache that will win him readers within and beyond his home country." - Patricia Alden, Professor of African Literature, St Lawrence University "Christopher Mlalazi is the rising voice of the ghetto, with all its violence, sharp anger, bitter protestations and tangible promise of a better tomorrow." - Raisedon Baya, Writer and Columist "This collection sparkles with wit, sizzles with style and dances with life. It is a welcome addition to Zimbabwe's growing canon and will be read and enjoyed for years to come." - Petina Gappah, Writer and Critic