Home            About Us            Newsletters            Support Us            Links            Contact Us

Friday, December 12, 2008

Book Night

During our time in Liberia we have been learning more and more of what has happened over the many years of civil war. We recently came across an art exhibition at a nearby hotel. Many of the paintings captivated us, but were not the sort you would hang on your wall in your living room. Most of the pictures depicted war and the atrocities that go with it. There were scenes of rebels with their guns, burning houses, people running for their lives and others to horrific to even mention here. For Liberians it was everyday life at one point, and it amazes us how people continue with their lives as they daily rub shoulders with former rebel soldiers, some who may have killed your family and the memories it must bring. There was a caption under one painting:
"You have to run for your life, the only way is in the river, you can't swim. In war there is no option"
The theme of "no option" rings out as we read the recently published book, "Redemption Road" by Liberian Author Elma Shaw. In a recent radio interview Elma says that the book portrays different characters from all walks of life, representing all the different people in Liberia, each of them struggling with something and all searching for their own redemption. The stories and the characters are not necessarily the story of one person, but lots of stories mixed up -- attitudes and thoughts and everything -- several of them given to one character so that we can see the essence of who Liberians are. The stories that she ended up portraying in the book were the stories that she had heard most often. Everyone wanted to tell what had happened to them, and what had gone on. And the ones that kept repeating from different people, from different places -- the incidents that kept repeating -- were the ones that made it into the book. We had the privilege of having Elma on board for an evening where she did a book reading and signing. She was interesting to listen to and was very open to questions from the crew. If you ever come across the book, read it and learn of some of things that went on here and what people are dealing with now.

No comments: