Peter Chilson’s fiction debut delivers a fascinating, heart-wrenching view of modern African culture, filtered through the lens of the West. In a novella and four short stories, Chilson, who traveled to Africa first as a Peace Corps volunteer and later as a freelance journalist, uses a phrase borrowed from biology to point out how our “disturbance-loving species” thrives in the most chaotic, seemingly unlivable situations. As this remarkable collection explores the experiences of Americans struggling to cope with the political and social upheaval of life in Africa and of Africans acclimating to life in the United States, Chilson captures in vivid detail the strange, exhilarating frisson between cultures.
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Africa Aissa Amelia American arms asked blood body Brahima Bread Loaf Writers breath Burkina Faso Carter felt Carter looked Carter smiled Carter walked checkpoints classroom cloth Daveed desk dirt Djerma driver dust eyes face Fanta fingers folded French front Fulani glass goat ground hair Hamza hands Harouna Hausa headmaster identity card Kate Keita knees knew kola nut Lan Samantha Chang land Land Rover laughed lips Madaoua malaria Markala meat Monsieur morning mouth never nodded notebook officer Peugeot photograph rain raised Richard road Salif Sheryl shirt shook his head shot shoulder shouted shrugged skin soldiers Souley spoke stared stood story street sweat T-shirt talk tell thief told took Toumani Ogun truck Tuareg Tuareg rebellion turned village Vishnu voice wall wanted watched West Africa woman wooden words wore Yaou young