Musseque

Our Musseque


Author: José Luandino Vieira

Language: English

Summary: The shanty towns in Luanda, the capital of Angola, in the 1940s and 1950s, come are vividly depicted in this idiosyncratic novel published more than 40 years after the author wrote it, in prison. Prostitutes, shopkeepers, children and drunks jostle and collide, giving conflicting accounts of their experiences as the civil war approaches, a conflict that will change their lives for good. Funny, shocking and moving, it makes you nostalgic for a place you have never been. Source: The Guardian

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The little captive

The little captive


Author: Lisa Kristensen

Language: English

Summary: On the Indonesian island of Java, eight-year-old Lise enjoys a happy childhood, thousands of miles away from the war raging in Europe. Then, one day in 1942, her friends and neighbours start to disappear. For two years, Lise and her family were imprisoned in POW camps, surviving starvation, illness and brutal treatment at the hands of their Japanese captors – but they never gave up hope. This is the remarkable true story of a little girl who, even in the darkest depths of war, was able to look beyond the barbed wire, to a time when she would be free. Source: Panmacmillan

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savageharvest

Savage harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art


Author: Carl Hoffman

Language: English

Summary: The mysterious disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in New Guinea in 1961 has kept the world and his powerful, influential family guessing for years. Now, Carl Hoffman uncovers startling new evidence that finally tells the full, astonishing story. Despite exhaustive searches, no trace of Rockefeller was ever found. Soon after his disappearance, rumors surfaced that he’d been killed and ceremonially eaten by the local Asmat—a native tribe of warriors whose complex culture was built around sacred, reciprocal violence, head hunting, and ritual cannibalism. The Dutch government and the Rockefeller family denied the story, and Michael’s death was officially ruled a drowning. Yet doubts lingered. Sensational rumors and stories circulated, fueling speculation and intrigue for decades. The real story has long waited to be told—until now. Retracing Rockefeller’s steps, award-winning journalist Carl Hoffman traveled to the jungles of New Guinea, immersing himself in a world of headhunters and cannibals, secret spirits and customs, and getting to know generations of Asmat. Through exhaustive archival research, he uncovered never-before-seen original documents and located witnesses willing to speak publically after fifty years. In Savage Harvest he finally solves this decades-old mystery and illuminates a culture transformed by years of colonial rule, whose people continue to be shaped by ancient customs and lore. Combining history, art, colonialism, adventure, and ethnography, Savage Harvest is a mesmerizing whodunit, and a fascinating portrait of the clash between two civilizations that resulted in the death of one of America’s richest and most powerful scions. Source: Amazon.com

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smile-as-they-bow-n295463

Smile as they bow


Author: Nu Nu Yi

Language: English

Summary: A spirit festival in a small Burmese village is the backdrop to this absorbing novel, one of the few books from Myanmar to have been translated into English. Nu Nu Yi’s sensual descriptions of the hustle and bustle of the event – to which people from all walks of life flock to pay dancers to perform as a way of atoning for their misdeeds and drawing down blessings – are a joy to read. The colourful setting is second only to the vitality of the central character, Daisy Bond, a foul-mouthed transgender spirit dancer with a talent for deception. Source: The Guardian

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african delights

African delights


Author: Siphiwo Mahala

Language: English

Summary: A unique literary journey through select critical moments in South African history, this collection of short stories opens in Sophiatown of the 1950s—one of the most definitive periods in South African urban culture—and concludes by exploring the social fabric of contemporary society. Simple yet profound, the stories span generations, demonstrating the painful rhythms of a society in distress in the 1980s through the eyes of a child as well as the transitional period of the 1990s through the life of young man torn between the old and new world, eventually exploring the first decade of South African democracy. Informative and engaging, the narratives examine the interplay of past and present, and prompt a re-examination of the future. Source: Amazon.com

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