“The sort of book friends press in your hands and say, ‘You must read this.’”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Isak Dinesen . . . Rebecca West . . . Gertrude Stein and Edith Wharton. To this company, in the tradition of Hemingway and others, and in many ways as brilliant as the best of them, we must now add Maria Thomas.”—Marianne Wiggins, The New York Times Book Review
Chosen as a New York Times Notable Book when it was first published in 1991, this book collects a novella and six stories about Africa, particularly Ethiopia, and the lives of different women there.
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Maria Thomas wrote three books: Antonia Saw the Oryx First (1987), Come to Africa and Save Your Marriage (1987), and African Visas (1991), all originally published by Soho Press. She died in a plane crash in Ethiopia in 1989 while accompanying a Texas congressman on a mission to a refugee camp.From Kirkus Reviews:
A posthumous collection from Thomas (Antonio Saw the Oryx First; Come to Africa and Save Your Marriage--both 1987)--stories and a novella that reflect her experiences in Africa as well as her cleareyed but deep affection for that continent, especially Ethiopia. For Thomas's characters, Africa is a harsh, beautiful place stripped of sentimentality and grandiose possibilities and offering nothing more than the opportunity to struggle--to accomplish the small, fleeting good without being overwhelmed by despair. In ``Jiru Road,'' the novella, a young woman joins the Peace Corps because she wanted ``to sneak out of the twentieth century'' and go to ``where I thought the big battles would be with the elements.'' Sent to Jiru in Ethiopia, a hopeless, doomed place where famine and drought are endemic, she decides to build a road, an admittedly pointless task since it goes nowhere; but while the villagers build, they will receive food aid and might at least survive a little longer--and that is something. Another story, ``Back Bay to the Bundu'' (previously published in the New Yorker), describes a well-born old Bostonian spinster who impulsively comes to Africa to ``go off and die in the wilderness''--but who, once there, realizes how empty her life has really been. Except for ``The Visit,'' in which an African-American widow, visiting her daughter in Nigeria, is appalled by the place but experiences something transcendental that she'll never forget, the remaining stories--though evocative- -are less fully realized. Thomas excelled at portraying women whose unflinching realism about themselves gives them a certain heroic courage. They are to be admired, as are Thomas's bleak but moving descriptions of an often tragic place. A writer who will be missed. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Soho Press, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0939149761
Book Description Soho Press, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0939149761
Book Description Soho Press, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110939149761