Some histories can never be reconciled

Strange fruit--the title of a song by Billie Holliday that's been playing on my car stereo, and I can't get it out of my mind...nor can I get the images it evokes out of my head. It kept playing in my head as I read Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer-winning novel The Underground Railroad (Random House, 2016), the …

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The Paradise of the Blind: Duong Thu Huang

Translated from Vietnamese by Phan Huy Duong and Nina McPherson It seems like a lot of the stories about Viet Nam are about the war, and that too from the American perspective. The country itself seems to disappear, merely providing a backdrop to the narratives of US soldiers. But what about the lives of ordinary …

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Kaveena: Boubacar Boris Diop

This novel is set in an unnamed African country and starts against a backdrop of civil unrest. The head of the secret service, Col. Asante Kroma, is looking for the deposed president, N’Zo Nikiema. He is under orders to kill the president by Frenchman Pierre Castaneda, who had for many years been a close associate …

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