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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Accident of Birth

by

Accident of Birth Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Review:

"A World Court trial of a Liberian man accused of war crimes forces an African-American woman to come to terms with her troubled past in Neff's uneven third novel (after Wisdom and Blackgammon). Reba Freeman leads a full, busy life as a high-level Washington human rights advocate with a precocious teenage daughter and a loving albeit distant relationship with her well-to-do husband, Carl Thornton. The issue driving a wedge between Freeman and Thornton is the lingering emotional presence of Joseph Thomas, Freeman's first husband, who abruptly left her to return to Africa after a brief courtship and subsequent wedding. Twenty years later Freeman still carries a torch for Thomas, who returns to her life in alarming fashion when she learns that after a brief period as a village schoolteacher, he apparently became a notorious Liberian terrorist who is being tried for murdering more than 30 innocent villagers during his country's civil war. Freeman takes up Joseph's cause when she learns that the accusations may be false, risking her career and marriage to go to Switzerland and help prove his innocence. The contrast between the two story lines is sharp: the current political subplot packs a compelling punch, but Neff dulls the impact with a series of long, ham-fisted flashbacks tracing Freeman's past. A taut climax provides relief, but can't entirely make up for the meandering backstory. Agent, Denise Stinson. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Alternating between present-day action and a series of flashbacks, "Accident of Birth" creates an intricate tapestry of suspense, drama, and romance, while also looking at the moral and cultural differences between African Americans and Africans.

About the Author

HEATHER NEFF, Ph.D., is a professor of literatures in the African diaspora at Eastern Michigan University and holds a doctorate from the University of Zurich. She is the author of two previous novels, Blackgammon and Wisdom, which was named an Honor Book by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Her fourth novel, Haarlem, will be published by Harlem Moon in 2005. She lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780767917513
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Neff, Heather
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Trials
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Liberia
Subject:
Massacres
Subject:
Political refugees
Subject:
Remarried people.
Subject:
Triangles
Subject:
Alexandria
Subject:
African-American women
Subject:
General Fiction
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
C2KBR-34
Publication Date:
20041109
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.06x5.24x.82 in. .70 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Accident of Birth Used Trade Paper
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Product details 384 pages RANDOM HOUSE TRADE - English 9780767917513 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A World Court trial of a Liberian man accused of war crimes forces an African-American woman to come to terms with her troubled past in Neff's uneven third novel (after Wisdom and Blackgammon). Reba Freeman leads a full, busy life as a high-level Washington human rights advocate with a precocious teenage daughter and a loving albeit distant relationship with her well-to-do husband, Carl Thornton. The issue driving a wedge between Freeman and Thornton is the lingering emotional presence of Joseph Thomas, Freeman's first husband, who abruptly left her to return to Africa after a brief courtship and subsequent wedding. Twenty years later Freeman still carries a torch for Thomas, who returns to her life in alarming fashion when she learns that after a brief period as a village schoolteacher, he apparently became a notorious Liberian terrorist who is being tried for murdering more than 30 innocent villagers during his country's civil war. Freeman takes up Joseph's cause when she learns that the accusations may be false, risking her career and marriage to go to Switzerland and help prove his innocence. The contrast between the two story lines is sharp: the current political subplot packs a compelling punch, but Neff dulls the impact with a series of long, ham-fisted flashbacks tracing Freeman's past. A taut climax provides relief, but can't entirely make up for the meandering backstory. Agent, Denise Stinson. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Alternating between present-day action and a series of flashbacks, "Accident of Birth" creates an intricate tapestry of suspense, drama, and romance, while also looking at the moral and cultural differences between African Americans and Africans.
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