Synopses & Reviews
Now restored to print with a new Foreword by Philip Gourevitch and an Afterword by the author, this book is a frank, moving, and vivid account of contemporary life in West Africa. Stationed as a Peace Corps instructor in the village of Lavié (the name means "wait a little more") in tiny and underdeveloped Togo, Packer reveals his own schooling at the hands of an unforgettable array of townspeople--peasants, chiefs, charlatans, children, market women, cripples, crazies, and those who, having lost or given up much of their traditional identity and fastened their hopes on "development," find themselves trapped between the familiar repetitions of rural life and the chafing monotony of waiting for change.
"Lovely in its feeling for the people and realistic in its assessment of the African situations, this is a first-rate piece of social reportage." --Irving Howe
"[A] fond and angry account. . . . An impressively unself-righteous and questioning work of intimate introduction, in which each dislocation of hope and breakdown of sense matters. Truthful throughout." --The New Yorker
"Glowing. . . . A masterful book." --New York Times Book Review
About the Author
's journalism and essays have appeared in Harper's
; The New York Times
; the 1997 Pushcart Prize anthology, The Art of the Essay
; and elsewhere. His latest book is Blood of the Liberals
. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.