Poetry Madness
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | April 11, 2014

Paul Laudiero: IMG Shit Rough Draft



I was sitting in a British and Irish romantic drama class my last semester in college when the idea for Shit Rough Drafts hit me. I was working... Continue »
  1. $9.07 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$3.50
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

More copies of this ISBN

The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo

by

The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo Cover

 

Awards

The Rooster 2007 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An utterly original debut novel from the prize-winning author of Esther Stories takes a young American to a school in Africa, where he falls for a woman of far deeper experience.

First she came. Then she came back.

Set in Namibia just after independence in the early 1990s, Peter Orner's first novel is a chronicle of the long days, short loves, and cold nights at Goas, an all-boys Catholic primary school so deep in the veld that "even the baboons feel sorry for us." Though physically isolated in semi-desert beneath a relentless sun, the people of Goas create an alternate, more fertile universe through the stories they tell each other.

The book's central character is Mavala Shikongo, a combat veteran who fought in Namibia's long war for independence against South Africa. She has recently returned to the school — with a child, but no husband. Mavala is modern, restless, and driven, in sharp contrast to conservative Goas. All the male teachers (including a bumbling but observant volunteer from Cincinnati) try not to fall in love with her. Everyone fails — immediately and miserably. This extraordinary first novel explores the history of a place through the stories of its people. But above all it's about the fleetingness of love and the endurance of fellowship.

Review:

"Orner's poetic, episodic examination of the varieties of life at an isolated Catholic primary school deep in the veld of Namibia coheres around the title character, a beautiful guerrilla fighter turned kindergarten teacher. Set in the early 1990s, soon after Namibia won independence from South Africa, this impressive debut novel (after Esther Stories) is mostly narrated by Larry Kaplanski, a young volunteer who leaves Cincinnati, Ohio, to teach English and history at Farm Goas. Orner captures Goas's glacial rhythms, the extraordinary contrast between the desert's night and day, and the community's daily privations, including — for the single male teachers — a lust arising from boredom and loneliness. Mavala Shikongo, the principal's sister-in-law and the object of her colleagues' desires, reluctantly settles at Goas with her illegitimate baby boy, Tomo. Orner punctuates Larry's observations with brief interludes told from the points of view of other inhabitants of the school, and with haunting, cinematic imagery — boys do pull-ups on a huge cross; Mavala and Larry, who become friends and intimates, hold their afternoon trysts on the graves of Boer settlers. These telling snapshots stand in for the larger sociopolitical, cultural and religious issues facing a country emerging from a century of colonization." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The novel is more situation than story, but there are scenes that will stay with you forever." Booklist

Review:

"Orner has a gift for language. He writes with confident economy, evoking and peopling his parched, lonely world with patient detail." New York Times

Review:

"It is a book of astonishing beauty....Orner has joined the first rank of American writers." Boston Globe

Synopsis:

This utterly original debut novel from the prizewinning author of "Esther Stories" takes a young American to a school in Africa, where he falls for a woman of far deeper experience.

About the Author

Peter Orner was born in Chicago in 1968. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1990, he taught for eighteen months in a rural Catholic mission in Namibia, received a law degree and practiced as juvenile public defender in Boston, and then enrolled in the University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780316735803
Author:
Orner, Peter
Publisher:
Libri
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Education
Subject:
Americans
Publication Date:
April 2006
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
309
Dimensions:
8.52x6.04x1.03 in. .96 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Brookland: A Novel Used Trade Paper $5.95
  2. Against the Day: A Novel
    Used Hardcover $7.50
  3. Arthur and George (Vintage...
    Used Trade Paper $8.50
  4. English, August: An Indian Story Used Mass Market $5.95
  5. The Emperor's Children
    Used Trade Paper $4.50
  6. The Lay of the Land: A Novel
    Used Hardcover $3.95

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2007
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 309 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316735803 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Orner's poetic, episodic examination of the varieties of life at an isolated Catholic primary school deep in the veld of Namibia coheres around the title character, a beautiful guerrilla fighter turned kindergarten teacher. Set in the early 1990s, soon after Namibia won independence from South Africa, this impressive debut novel (after Esther Stories) is mostly narrated by Larry Kaplanski, a young volunteer who leaves Cincinnati, Ohio, to teach English and history at Farm Goas. Orner captures Goas's glacial rhythms, the extraordinary contrast between the desert's night and day, and the community's daily privations, including — for the single male teachers — a lust arising from boredom and loneliness. Mavala Shikongo, the principal's sister-in-law and the object of her colleagues' desires, reluctantly settles at Goas with her illegitimate baby boy, Tomo. Orner punctuates Larry's observations with brief interludes told from the points of view of other inhabitants of the school, and with haunting, cinematic imagery — boys do pull-ups on a huge cross; Mavala and Larry, who become friends and intimates, hold their afternoon trysts on the graves of Boer settlers. These telling snapshots stand in for the larger sociopolitical, cultural and religious issues facing a country emerging from a century of colonization." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The novel is more situation than story, but there are scenes that will stay with you forever."
"Review" by , "Orner has a gift for language. He writes with confident economy, evoking and peopling his parched, lonely world with patient detail."
"Review" by , "It is a book of astonishing beauty....Orner has joined the first rank of American writers."
"Synopsis" by , This utterly original debut novel from the prizewinning author of "Esther Stories" takes a young American to a school in Africa, where he falls for a woman of far deeper experience.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.