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Category Archive for 'Central African Republic'

Set in various countries in West Africa, with one sojourn to Ethiopia, Susi Wyss’s debut “novel in stories” takes advantage of the more than twenty years that she lived in Africa—three years as a child in the Ivory Coast, two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Central African Republic, and fifteen years managing health care programs throughout different countries in West Africa. Her sensitivity to place, culture, and people, particularly those who have left their homes for lives elsewhere, and her sense of honesty and forthrightness give a particular poignancy to the lives of the five women who are the subjects of the stories here. Three of these overlapping stories are set in Ghana, two in the United States, and one each in Malawi, the Central African Republic, and Ethiopia. The novel has much charm, less plot, with characters who feel real and with whom the reader will identify. The places Wyss “visits” are both intriguing and realistic, even including the unexpected violence that appears at some points. The novel is full of easy and obvious cultural conflicts and contrasts, with themes that often appear as moralizing at the conclusions to the stories.

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