Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng e Benjamin Ajak, They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky, PublicAffairs: A stunning literary survival story of three young Sudanese boys, two brothers and a cousin—hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “moving, beautifully written account, by turns warm and tender.”
Between 1987 and 1989, Alepho, Benjamin, and Benson, like tens of thousands of young boys, took flight from the massacres of Sudan’s civil war. They became known as the Lost Boys. With little more than the clothes on their backs, sometimes not even that, they streamed out over Sudan in search of refuge. Their journey led them first to Ethiopia and then, driven back into Sudan, toward Kenya. They walked nearly one thousand miles, sustained only by the sheer will to live.
They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky is the three boys’ account of that unimaginable journey. With the candor and the purity of their child’s-eye-vision, Alephonsion, Benjamin, and Benson recall by turns: how they endured the hunger and strength-sapping illnesses—dysentery, malaria, and yellow fever; how they dodged the life-threatening predators—lions, snakes, crocodiles and soldiers alike—that dogged their footsteps; and how they grappled with a war that threatened continually to overwhelm them. Their story is a lyrical, captivating, timeless portrait of a childhood hurled into wartime and how they had the good fortune and belief in themselves to survive.
La mia recensione: https://sonnenbarke.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/benson-deng-alephonsion-deng-e-benjamin-ajak-they-poured-fire-on-us-from-the-sky-sudan-del-sud/
Taban lo Liyong, Carrying Knowledge up a Palm Tree, Africa World Press: “Always light-hearted and yet philosophical, Taban lo Liyong’s poetry flows effortlessly and belies the public mistrust of modern African poetry as academic, dry, and rigid. In his recent creative outburst, the poet opens technical and thematic frontiers that energize the modern African poetic tradition. lo Liyong’s poetry is a fresh harvest of wit, humor, and word-play that any reader will feel happy to indulge in.”
–Tanure Ojaide, Professor of African-American and African Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; and author of Great Boys: An African Childhood (AWP, 1998)
“lo Liyong’s suspicion of conventional thinking and standard attitudes is obvious in almost everything he writes… While his poetry is present-oriented, indeed even future-oriented, his poems draw on tradition, not only through references to traditional characters and events and in his fable-like use of animals, but also in their form. He uses epigrams that are close to riddles, or he tells moral lessons, often in long “epicaresque” narratives using to the full the oral devices of repetitions and scansion, sometimes in balanced sentences that acquire the status of proverbs. lo Liyong is a thinker-poet [and] a teacher-poet. His use of paradoxes and his exclusiveness prompt the reader to an increased degree of alertness. His poems say exactly what readers expect them to say from the way they begin. … lo Liyong is often bitingly, at times bitterly, ironical. But his irony, more wounded than wounding does not indicate detachment. In his concern for his native Sudan and for exploited communities all over the world he is a committed writer and political activist… Inspired both by traditional forms and by modern experiment, lo Liyong produces subtle and moving poems out of the pain and confusion of the community in which he lives.”
–Christine Pagnoulle, in Contemporary Poets
Taban lo Liyong, Showhat and Sowhat, Longhorn Publishers: This play explores the lives of two divergent families: the Showhats and the Sowhats. Showhat is a boisterous arrogant bully with little regard for the less privileged but philosophical Sowhat. Their worlds clash when Sowhat’s daughter falls pregnant to Showhats son. Enraged, Sowhat attacks Showhat who retaliates leading to an arrest. In an odd judgement Showhat must move in with Mrs Sowhat and vice versa. Meanwhile, the children retreat peacefully to their haven: the Sacred Grove. Taban exposes the complexity of the adult world and juxtaposes it with the simplicity and serenity that defines childhood. The play is a multifaceted parable that pours scorn on the consumerism of the rich in society without sparing the vanity of empty sloganeering of the philosophical poor.
Abel Alier, Southern Sudan. Too Many Agreements Dishonoured, Ithaca Press: This book is required reading for anyone concerned with the condition of Sudan and the horror of the civil war. It is an authoritative personal story by one of the chief actors, giving an account of his struggle to contain a tragedy which has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands and brought starvation to millions.