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Mango Elephants in the Sun

Best Seller
Mango Elephants in the Sun by Susana Herrera
Paperback $22.95
Aug 08, 2000 | ISBN 9781570625725

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  • Aug 08, 2000 | ISBN 9781570625725

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  • Aug 08, 2000 | ISBN 9780834800038

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"Californian Susan Herrera spent two years in northern Cameroon in what might be described as the classic Peace Corps assignment: teaching school in a remote African village. ‘Jam bah doo nah?’ (‘Are you in your skin?’) her neighbors ask her by way of greeting, and the response means, ‘Yes, I am alive, fully present and experiencing the moment.’

"Herrera’s account is filled with cross-cultural anecdotes that are alternately amusing and poignant. She is appalled as she watches the other teachers administer corporal punishment, only to discover that her own students don’t respect her authority because she refuses to beat them. Her solution is to devise more creative forms of classroom discipline. A pompous village chief offers her a bloody goat head as a gift of courtship. Herrera feels the thrill of triumph when her most ambitious student masters a bicycle for the first time, until the girl’s older brother coldly rebukes the foreign teacher, ‘Don’t put desires in her head that she can never have.’ Herrera’s growing friendship with several local women and her tender romance with a handsome Cameroonoian doctor give the narrative its continuity and novel-like structure."—Scott Zesch, Austin American-Statesman

"Whether she’s writing about falling in love, getting malaria or teaching a young woman how to ride a bicycle, Herrera draws in readers with her uncommon intelligence and wisdom."—Mary Spicuzza, Metro Santa Cruz

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