The Resource Radiance of tomorrow, Ishmael Beah

Radiance of tomorrow, Ishmael Beah

Label
Radiance of tomorrow
Title
Radiance of tomorrow
Statement of responsibility
Ishmael Beah
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"In the aftermath of the war in Sierra Leone, a village comes together to regain the beauty of life as it was in the past"--
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Reviewed by Edwidge Danticat. In his 2007 memoir, A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah writes of those waiting for war to invade their lives: “Families who had walked hundreds of miles told how relatives had been killed and their houses burned. Some people felt sorry for them and offered them places to stay, but most of the refugees refused, because they said the war would eventually reach their town.” The decade-long war in Sierra Leone between government forces and Liberian-funded rebels did eventually reach Beah’s and other towns, and he was swept up in the conflict as a child soldier, a story he vividly recounts in his memoir. This time Beah has written an actual novel—his first—not about the war itself, but about its aftermath. What happens when those who have committed atrocities or have been the victims of them return to what is left of their homes? We get our answer via several residents of the devastated Sierra Leonean town of Imperi, where an older couple, Mama Kadie and Pa Moiwa, and a young schoolteacher named Bockarie are among the first to return. Recalling the Friday afternoon the town was attacked, they remember the rocket-propelled grenades that brought down the chief’s compound, heralding a new order while “killing many people, whose flesh sizzled from the explosions.” Those who escaped, and eventually made it through the war in good enough shape to return, considered themselves lucky, save for the survivor’s guilt that forced them to seek comfort, even in the most horrifying places. Looking at the piles of human bones that still litter the town, Mama Kadie imagines that she might be able to identify the remains of her grandchildren among them. The pain of not knowing whether or not they had survived the war is too much to bear and she wants some finality. The town eventually falls into some kind of routine. Other survivors flood in from refugee camps in neighboring countries. Burned houses are rebuilt and a school is opened, allowing Bockarie to teach there. The notion that the town might return to its old, familiar ways soon vanishes, however, when a mining company, in search of rutile—used as a pigment in paint, plastic, and food—sets up shop, polluting the town’s waterways. Bockarie’s best friend also dies a senseless death while working at the mine. Bockarie eventually decides to return with his friend’s wife to her hometown, only to find life even more unbearable there, in the shadow of a diamond mine. This leaves only Freetown, with its Chinese-run hotels, drug runners, and “false life” Europe- and U.S.-based returnees, who missed the war all together. This part of the novel leaves us wondering what might happen next to some characters to whom we’ve grown attached. However, as Beah reminds us on the book’s final page, “It is the end, or maybe the beginning of another story.... Every story is a birth.” In Radiance of Tomorrow, Beah has produced a formidable and memorable novel—a story of resilience and survival, and, ultimately, rebirth. Edwidge Danticat is the author of several books, including, most recently, Claire of the Sea Light, a novel. --Staff (Reviewed October 28, 2013) (Publishers Weekly, vol 260, issue 43, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ For Mama Kadie, returning to her village, Imperi, after the seven-year civil war in Sierra Leone, home is the dirt sifting between her toes and the scent of coffee flowers. For Pa Moiwa, it is burying the bones of those who did not escape the destruction. Slowly, others return, hoping to mend the fabric of lives sundered by war. First Bockarie and later Benjamin, former teachers in the village, arrive with their families. Then Sila and his children, missing arms and hands, find acceptance there. Even Colonel, leading a band of former child soldiers seeking to reclaim their humanity, is embraced by the elders. But hardship persists. Bockarie and Benjamin work months without a paycheck while the school principal cooks the books. A mining company rapes their land yet entices villagers with big salaries while downplaying horrific working conditions. Still, each physically and psychically damaged person in Imperi will learn to trust again. VERDICT Beah, who broke our hearts with the haunting memoir of his life as a boy soldier (Long Way Gone ), will render readers speechless with the radiance of his storytelling in this novel of grace, forgiveness, and a vision of a tomorrow without conflict. [See Prepub Alert, 7/8/13.]— Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Fort Myers, FL --Sally Bissell (Reviewed November 15, 2013) (Library Journal, vol 138, issue 21, p86)
  • /* Starred Review */ This first novel from Sierra Leone–born author Beah (A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, 2007) features characters who face the challenges of returning to normalcy after the horrors of civil war in Sierra Leone. At times, it's hard to discern what predominates, the savagery of war and its aftermath or the promise of the book's title. As Mama Kadie explains, "The war has changed us, but I hope not so much that we'll never find our way back." The place she, her family and her friends are trying to find their way back to is Imperi, a village that has been devastated by the war. Reminders are everywhere: Sila and his children, for example, whose hands were chopped off by the ruthless Sgt. Cutlass. At the center of the return to Imperi is Bockarie, a teacher who wants to resume his life in the village along with fellow teacher Benjamin. Both men struggle against astonishingly high odds, including children who seem to have no future and an administrator who's embezzling money that should go toward their salaries. When a company starts to mine rutile (a mineral with many desirable uses and whose presence usually presages the discovery of diamonds), many of the students abandon school for the steady paycheck mining provides. The promise of riches also brings foreigners into Imperi, and they have no respect for the traditions of the native culture. In fact, they show their contempt through raping the local women--at least till "Colonel" puts a stop to it by responding to this brutishness with his own brand of aggression. UNICEF Ambassador Beah writes lyrically and passionately about ugly realities as well as about the beauty and dignity of traditional ways.(Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2013)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10234480
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1980-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Beah, Ishmael
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Villages
  • Sierra Leone
Label
Radiance of tomorrow, Ishmael Beah
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
ix, 242 p.
Isbn
9780374246020
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2013036856
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780374246020
  • (OCoLC)868254921
Label
Radiance of tomorrow, Ishmael Beah
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
ix, 242 p.
Isbn
9780374246020
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2013036856
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780374246020
  • (OCoLC)868254921

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