Monthly Archives: January 2007

Living like a refugee

I’ve spent the last month engrossed by Dave Eggers’ novel What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng. The book is a fictionalized account of the journey of the real-life Deng, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan: a youth displaced by that African country’s brutal war and raised in refugee camps. Eggers is author of the seminal generational memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a book I also loved (and that I consider one of the first neo-parenting accounts, a major inspiration for my own book). Here he turns his keen eye, sharp intellect, and fluid craft on a less narcissistic subject — a tremendously important one. Eggers brings us inside the news we read about Africa and refugees the world over. It’s sometimes nightmare-inducing, but it’s also hilarious and Deng is a charming, modest narrator. The kind of book that will change your life. And make you want to shake our politicians by the ear until they do something about Darfur.

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Waaaaah!

There’s a baby crying in the other room! Not mine: The niece of the friend of my daughter Kenda. Otis, the dog, is going crazy. He loves babies! I knew he loved Cole (my son, now 3), but I thought it was because Colio is family. But I guess he just loves babies. Like me, who knew?

So before I go any further, a million words of thanks to the creator of the website to which this blog is attached (www.mamaramabook.com, aka www.evelynmcdonnell.com): The fabulous Michelle Belleville. Applause, applause! She rules.

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