Nicholas Hershenow The Road Builder

ISBN 13: 9780399147548

The Road Builder

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9780399147548: The Road Builder
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A young American couple travels to Africa where their cultural expectations are shattered by the reality of the continent, and they are forced to reshape themselves in a new image. A first novel. 30,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

Nicholas Hershenow was a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire (Congo) in the 1980s. He has worked as the director of a community gardens and fisheries program, a whitewater raft and wilderness guide, and is now a U.S. Forest Service stream survey technician. He has published stories in The Missouri Review, The North American Review, and Western Humanities Review. The Road Builder is his first novel. AUTHCOMMENTS:

From Publishers Weekly:

Carefully detailed yet hazily dreamlike, this lengthy first novel convincingly depicts life in a remote and isolated Central African village, as told by an intelligent but passive young American. Will Haslin, an aimless 32-year-old jack-of-all-trades, suddenly finds himself posing (even though they have known each other for only a few months) as the husband of his lover, Kate, a dissertation-writing geologist, for the benefit of Kate's elderly Uncle Pers, who has summoned her to help him finish his memoirs. Originally from Belgium and now settled in California, Uncle Pers is a retired engineer. As they try to organize the memoirs, Kate and Will gradually discover "unconformities," mostly with respect to the time Pers spent in Africa's Kivila Valley. Pressed to fill in the blanks, Pers secures them jobs as "consultants" at a failing palm-oil refining operation in the bush village of Ngemba in an unnamed country (obviously based on the former Belgian Congo) so they can find out for themselves. As Kate and Will struggle with everything from their undefined occupations to the local diet, they gradually begin to hear about a mysterious Road Builder, of whom many stories are told by the village elders. Although he eventually untangles fact from fiction, Will continues to function primarily as an observer rather than an actor, giving his story a static quality reinforced by its length. Even the occasional longueurs, however, support Will's depiction of Ngemban life as otherworldly and unknowable to outsiders, an impression reinforced by the contrasting use of quick-moving present-tense narration for events outside Ngemba and by the large and colorful cast of supporting characters. Hershenow, himself a former Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, delivers a fictional meal as rich, spicy and mysterious as the "bima," or stew of "things," dished out by Will's Ngemban hosts.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Blue Hen, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. 000-273: Hardcover with Dustjacket. 520 pages. No Defects. A New Unread Book. A beautiful copy with clean, unmarked, acid-free pages. Dustjacket may have a few minor blemishes from shelf. Gift Quality. An Epic Story of Romance and Exploration in the Exotic but Complicated World of Africa. 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 First Edition 2001. Seller Inventory # 35165

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