385 Chapters
Medium 9780253019028


IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

CLEMENTINA, OH, CLEMENTINA! A woman is not supposed to wear a miniskirt and pick up a coin from the ground. I am coming right behind you, rushing to catch up with you. Hang on, please. Don’t you remember me anymore? Oh, for history’s sake, stop pretending you can’t recognize my face. My name is Chinedu, Felix Okeke’s first son. You should know my Popsy, my weird father. He used to be a driver in the city where he sired seven of his children from a single wife. Where did you hide your face? I was searching for a tortoise in the sky and did not know that the cunning animal was on the ground, crawling under my feet. I’ve found you today, Clementina, and my stomach is happy, and I thank our ancestors for that.

You said you were fingering it for love, and that love was headquartered in my groin.

Are you going to the market, too? I am dragging this old she-goat to the market so that my Popsy can sell it off. I returned from the boarding school last week, and I can see that you are now one of the many palm-oil traders in this village. I think the load of palm-oil barrels, which you have in the wooden carrier on your head, is too heavy for you, a breastfeeding mother with a sleeping baby on her back. But that does not stop me from reminding you, as we trek, of where we both started our journey. So listen to me, and stop pretending! You already know there is a poisonous snake lying under your mattress, and you don’t need a microscope to see what you grip tangibly in your hands.

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Medium 9780253000958


Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

In morning mist on a northern river, a slab of stone tumbled from a boulder into the water, where it came to life and floated, turning into a sleek black head that swam in circles dragging a V of ripples behind it. A beaver, I thought, as I watched from shore. But no sooner had I named it than the creature bobbed up and then dove, exposing a long neck and humped back and pointed tail. Not a beaver, I realized, but an otter. I was pleased to find a label for this animate scrap, as though by pinning the right word on the shape-shifter I could hold it still.

Presently a second otter, then a third and fourth broke free of the boulder and slithered down into the mercury sheen of the river. They dove without a splash, their tails flipping up to gleam like wands in the early sunlight, and they surfaced so buoyantly that their forepaws and narrow shoulders lifted well out of the water. Then one after another they clambered back onto the rock and dove again, over and over, like tireless children taking turns on a playground slide.

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Medium 9780253019028

100,000 Men

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

“HUSH, HUSH,” HE said expectantly, jittery, running about the camp, the gaping hole in his brown shorts thoroughly visible, as was his entirely emaciated state. “Do you not hear them?” he turned around and around, looking about, pausing, staring intently at each face, as if to will them, to force them to apprehend what he was saying. “Do you hear them coming?” He breathed heavily. “They are coming! I saw them with my own eyes, my own two eyes! I swear they are coming.”

“Taidor, Taidor, Choul is having another of his fits again,” Alek said to her husband, stating the obvious.

Taidor looked on, unable to shake off the melancholy expression on his visage. Of course he knew there was no one coming. He was the sober one, calm, collected, resigned to fate without complaint. And he knew there was definitely no one coming. He hated the hopeless optimism of Choul. Even from their days at the university in Khartoum, Choul had entertained and nursed this ridiculously hopeless idealism. “They are coming where?” he scoffed. “Who? Who is coming?” He shook his head sarcastically and proceeded to scratch his unkempt hair.

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Medium 9781847778772

The Trail of the Barbarians

Ford, Ford Madox Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

When Ford was back in England in 1917 he resumed his work, translating Pierre Loti’s pamphlet, L’Outrage des barbares (Paris, 1917). His ‘Translator’s Note’ to The Trail of the Barbarians (London, [1918]) is printed here. Like Henry James, Ford was a great admirer of Loti’s style, so the work represents an act of literary as well as political propaganda. It can also be seen expressing his belief in the regenerative power of the countryside, and influencing his later praise of French landscape and culture.

It has been my ambition, for more years than I can remember, to devote the closing stage of my life to rendering into English some masterpiece of a French stylist. Well, here is the rendering of the masterpiece of a French stylist; and Fate wills it that it has been performed between parades, orderly rooms, strafes, and the rest of the preoccupations that re-fit us for France … so it is not a good rendering. You need from 11.45 pip emma of 8/8/17 to 11.57 pip emma of 9/8/17 for the rendering of almost any French sentence!…

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Medium 9781938901249

25. Slippin’ Down to the Seaside

Susan Spano Roaring Forties Press ePub



The bicycle has always struck me as the perfect way to travel—cheaper than driving, faster than walking, and easier to manage than a horse. I don’t own a bike and am hardly fit for the Tour de France. Still, that hasn’t stopped me from dreaming about a cycling trip.

But the logistics always seemed daunting: deciding where to go; renting a bike; plotting a safe, scenic route; and figuring out how in the world to carry the gear. Occasionally, I’d send for brochures describing package cycling tours—through Tuscany or the Loire Valley, with bikes and equipment, the services of a guide, accommodations, and daily luggage transfers included. But the prices left me winded.

Then I happened upon a booklet published by the Irish Tourist Board called Walking and Cycling Ireland while planning a trip to Ireland. It listed a number of cycle-tour companies that offer just the sort of trip I had in mind, at reasonable prices, with bikes, helmets, panniers, breakdown equipment, vouchers for booked overnight stays in B & B’s and luggage transfers, all costing about $400 a person for seven days. Some were scheduled group tours, but the ones I was most interested in sent cyclists into the Irish countryside on their own, guided by route descriptions and maps. In summer, destinations include the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula, and Connemara. I chose a tour of County Clare, in the west, offered by Irish Cycle Hire because Clare is close to Shannon Airport, not too hilly, and scenically blessed—with shimmering strands and the dramatic Cliffs of Moher bordering it to the west; ruined castles, the Aran Islands, a wild, rock-encrusted region called the Burren at its heart; and all the cockles and mussels of Galway Bay to the north.

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