Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Read it now!
Awhile back I read Alexandra Fuller's Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight. This autobiographical work tells of her childhood in Africa as part of the white ruling class (although not wealthy). It goes on to describe the horror of independence for all parties involved and the strange re-identification that every African must make after independence. Fuller is an excellent writer and I look forward to reading her other books as well. And, I am excited to write, I have found her fictional counterpart. I have just finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible. This book easily compares to Fuller's. Kingsolver focuses on a missionary family with four daughters, which moves to the Congo the year before independence is declared. The book is written from the perspective of the mother and the four daughters, in a diary form. Kingsolver obviously did her homework and the lives, traditions, religion, and socio-econonic structure of the Africans is crystal clear. Her characters are well-defined and so beautifully written about that you can picture them, as if you've met them before. This is one of the rare books that you don't want to get to the end, because you don't want the book to end. You want to keep reading and reading. Unfortunately, the book does end. But it does so on a wonderful note. This is the first of Kingsolver's books I've ever read. It will not be the last.