What is it you want from me I ask out loud and like a match striking its strip I think I have an answer The recordings and the transcripts I have made of P are an intimate invitation to experience this world through her recollections Unencumbered Raw The uestion What for comes back at me I flick my cigarette over the balcony orange ember spinning I don t know how this story will end But I know how it began I press my pencil to paper write They are called children of the moonAuthor Anthony De Sa was raised in Toronto s Portuguese community and is known for his books set within that heritage With Children of the Moon De Sa takes this a little further afield focusing mainly on African characters with a Portuguese twist P is a Masai woman with albinism living out the end of her days ravaged by cancer suatting in the officially abandoned Grande Hotel Beira in Mozambiue Serafim is a Brazilian journalist who has travelled to Beira in order to et P s story and Ezeuiel is an old man living with dementia and Parkinson s in a Toronto basement apartment suffering PTSD and hallucinations about his time as a child soldier in Africa first in the charge of O Colégio de Todos os Segredos guerrilla soldiers and then as an aide to the Commander of the Portuguese forces sent to uell the rebel forces Point of view rotates between these three characters and eventually it is revealed how P and Ezeuiel were linked in the past As often happens I m a little uneasy about the suitability of a white Westerner writing African voices but with this slim book De Saives the reader plenty to think about and the Portuguese aspects make it feel authentic Note I read an ARC and passages uoted may not be in their final forms My mother pushed me out into a warm evening where I took my first breath I was told this story countless times by Simu I never tired of it The moment I slipped out from my mother I was March Violets (Bernie Gunther, greeted by the moonlight that crept into the mouth of our mud hut My pale body dragged across my mother s belly and to her breast My skin white as bone A curse A moon child the men muttered before running away Simu remained to soothe the concern in her sister s eyes As an African villager with albinism P s life was in danger from those who believed that her skin and body parts could be used for charms and medicine After being moved several times for her protection she ended up at the Grande Hotel in Beira as an adult where she now lives with thousands of other refugees acting as an unofficial advocate for those around her andetting just enough notoriety to attract the attention of international journalists She has always been careful with how she reveals her life story and as she knows this will be her last chance to Zoete tranen get it right P is forthcoming with Serafim than she ever has been before Shortly after I checked into the Hotel Tivoli I dragged a chair and table out onto the fourth floor balcony of my corner room arranging them so that I could see bits of the ocean to my left and the fragile buildings of this poor city to my right The shouts from shop vendors and street brawls that spilled from bars onto dirt roads the smell of smoke from outdoor kitchen fires all reminded me of the favela where I was raised Like Serrinha and surrounding Florian polis there s nothing beautiful about this city nothing about its architecture inspires me except at dusk when lights twinkle from apartments or thelow from open storefronts floods the streets and I think of uieter times The journalist Serafim is a blackout drunk on the run from the fallout over his last big story in which he revealed the existence and location of a previously uncontacted ian tribe He is sincere in his desire to honestly capture P s story but he seems eually committed to protecting his own reputation I don t deserve to participate in life not after what I saw and what I did I used to catch myself smiling children playing piri piri shrimp All in the Family and I would feel Water Music guilty for letting joy creep inside me Theyive me risperidone which dulls the noises in my head and lets me drift off to a time and place where everything seems real I keep telling myself that it s better not to look back Nothing Revived good comes fromoing back Now I spend part of my day or what is left of the night in my bed or in my chair staring into the dark until my eyes can pierce the thickness to see clearly through it I see people animals and objects all around me though they try to hide in the carpet pattern or in the paintings on the wall I never switch lights on in the basement I like it this way I used to have a dream as a boy not a nightmare I say Then I realize I am alone Still I m careful not to speak too loudly or to Student Research Projects in Calculus give too much away You never know who is listeningThe chapters from Ezeuiel s POV were my favourites abandoned at a Mission as a baby this child of a white father and black mother was raised by a European pastor and his wife until Mozambiue s war of independence came roaring through Going on to do whatever it took to survive Ezeuiel s story was even affecting than P s and as there was nothing veryraphic shared about the fates of those with albinism what Ezeuiel s narrative revealed about Mozambiue s civil war uerrilla tactics and the ugly racism of the Portuguese military was the engaging story Children of the Moon isn t a very long book and there s something very careful and uiet about De Sa s writing Before P speaks
she considers what she ll share before Serafim his writing he carefully assembles notes striking through albino to replace with considers what she share before Serafim begins his writing he carefully assembles notes striking through albino to replace with with albinism striking through witch doctors to replace with healers and this carefulness creates distance between the reader and the narrative However this is balanced by Ezeuiel s uncensored dementia related memories and hallucinations and these sections provide the book with the necessary heart In the Acknowledgments at the back of the book De Sa thanks the people from Under the Same Sun who educated him about people with albinism people who brought him to Mozambiue s Gorongosa National Park people who ot him access to the hallways of the Grande Hotel Beira and his uncles and those veterans who shared their stories with him this is obviously a book with extensive factual basis but it s not a very narrative driven read Yet this makes the book feel respectful of the. From celebrated author Anthony De Sa comes a raw and compelling novel of love war and the heartbreaking effects of memory ' You must listen to my words You must promise to tell my story the way I have shared it with you'Tanzania 1956 A Maasai woman ives birth to a child with albinism The child is seen as a curse upon her tribe and so begins Pó. Tempts to rebel It is set in two African countries Tanzania and Mozambiue Tanzania became an independent country in 1964 no longer under foreign rule and Mozambiue as well but not until 1975Mozambiue was initially colonized by the Portuguese who over time took all the resources from the indigenous residents who had lived there hundreds of years leaving them very little to survive let alone enough to be able to upgrade themselves to better futures The Front for the Liberation of Mozambiue FRELIMO made up of native rebels initiated a uerrilla campaign against Portuguese rule in September 1964 This War of Independence continued for 10 years until Mozambiue was A Heart of Stone granted its independence from Portugal in 1975 Much of the story takes place during this time frame and De Sa provides descriptions that take readers into the heart of the conflict I felt the fear and pain of the people living there De Sa shines a bright focused light on the ruthlessness against humanity during war and takeover forreed A reader will see and viscerally experience evil in human beingsChildren of the Moon is also a story about albinism hence the book s title Albinos light skin fair hair light eyes and poor eyesight make them very susceptible to damage by the sun s strong rays so being outside in pale evening light and darkness is their preference In Children of the Moon I learned how people with albinism were shunned and mistreated There were often homeless due to people s fears and non acceptance of living nearby or in their midst As a result albinos often had to find shelter on their own It was impossible for them to assimilate with non albinos as they were so feared and therefore unable to et educated or secure decent jobs to provide for themselves even if they were self taught or taught by other fortunate albinos Dead albinos were coveted however and considered valuable In ignorance and folklore even a lock of albino hair was appreciated and treasured as a uarantee of Language and Linguistics good luck Dead bodies were also highly valued and sought after Due to uestionable mythology and fake healing many people believed that albino body parts brought either luck or curses depending upon how parts were used Dead bodies sold for 75000 plusDi Sa did an excellent job of creating atmosphere building much fear during the wars as tyrants persecuted natives and forced them to do unconscionable things Examples of human depravity and inhumanity were abundant but because De Sa writes in descriptively in a minimalist manner he is able to capture the feelings and horror in a way that is readable His use of three narrators helps create pauses and needed breaks from the atrocities and time for me to reflect on what I d readChildren of the Moon also provides aood understanding of the stress people endure during a war their suffering from the torture killings and losses of loved ones as well as their utter hopelessness and helplessness in preventing such evils The impact of post traumatic stress is well illustrated in the dreams and life of one of the narrators and we Divertimento get a real sense about how memories oftenet mixed up and the terror remains in our psyches for years and yearsAn informative and powerful 4 12 star readResearch Acknowledgements and Further ReadingIt is evident in the book that De Sa
has done significant research in order to write Children of the Moon much of it in person as he done significant research in order to write Children of the Moon much of it in person as he visited the area he writes about and has spoken to many people there In a thoughtful Acknowledgement Section De Sa thanks numerous people not all have been included here He also provides some links for those "interested in learning and helping with Albinism and also the restoration of a uniue area in Mozambiue Africa destroyed by "in learning and helping with Albinism and also the restoration of a uniue area in Mozambiue Africa destroyed by and fires during the 10 year War of Independence for indigenous rather than foreign nationhoodDe Sa writes I am indeed Love Is a Fairy Tale grateful to the staff of both the Canadian and Tanzanian branches of Under the Same Sun an NGO committed to supporting and educating people about albinism in Tanzania A special thanks to Peter Ash founder and CEO of UTSS for agreeing to have me shadow him on a visit to Tanzania To find out including how you can help people with albinism please visit wwwunderthesamesuncom He also writes Deepratitude to Gregory Carr an American entrepreneur and philanthropist committed to the restoration of Mozambiue s Gorongosa National Park Again a well written and moving 4 12 star book worth reading They asked if I had any uestions but they didn t answer them 21 The children of the moon are the Africans with albinism who suffer rather than one might imagine for their Promise at Dawn genetic heritage This novelrew out of author interviews with people on location the People with albinism the people fighting for their right to decent and safe accomodation and the veterans and civilian
of the local wars Darting time and space weaving story within story not in an elegant tapestry but a shroud AdS ives us a stripped down version of the hell that was Tanzania and Mozambiue in the mid fifties In his deceptively mild and melodious prose he brings together the fragments of 3 lives overburdened by their past Distance is simply measured but timetime rabs ahold of your throat and doesn t let Bangkok Wakes to Rain go p226People are left with nothing except promises 110 Hauntingly beautiful may be a clich but in this case is true Desperate life circumstances circumscribed by and injected with loveThe author has a way ofetting inside the characters that makes the reader feel like we are them This is the first book written by Anthony De Sa that I read The story evoked a lot of emotions within me The story was enticing and touching Being a resident of Tanzania I was aware of the intensity of the horrific beliefs that individuals harbored about Albinism and how people suffering from Albinism were targeted and preyed on Traditional healers departed wrong beliefs and ideologies that organs from Albinos could be used to ain power and wealth creating widespread terror and chaos At some points I felt that the story was somewhat difficult to follow considering the multiple timelines presented in the book Nonetheless the subject matter was enticing captivating and fascinating I was thoroughly touched by the story which took place close to my hometown An engaging and ripping stor. Ho to fight for and who to leave behindPó and Zeca come together in a time of momentous change Love connects these two outsiders forcing them to confront the shattering impact of colonialism and war Children of the Moon is a stunning and unforgettable exploration of the love of two people at once bound and separated by forces beyond their contr.SURVIVORS OF THE LOCAL WARS DARTING
Anthony De Sa ç 1 FREE READMaterial and I m not left with that uneasy feeling of cultural misappropriation I learned some interesting things and was engaged enough with the three characters to want to know how their stories would develop I d Darkmere give this three and a half stars and am rounding up for Ezeuiel I ve read all of De Sa s books and I have to say that this one definitely evoked a lot of emotion At times I did feel like the book was a little tricky to follow with the multiple timelines and streams of consciousness However the subject matter was enticing the ch I have read several previous books by De Sa and found them of mixed uality This powerful novel however is excellentBased mostly in Mozambiue and Tanzania it is a penetrating story of Po born an albino African and her troubled life in the face of hunters of body parts cut from people like her since these are supposed to overcome illness or other afflictions Arranged as interviews with a Brazilian journalist Po recounts her childhood how she had eventually to flee into exile from her Tanzanian birthplace her love affair with Ezeuiel an adopted outsider like herself who had been kidnapped by an armed band that burned the church community where he lived and her work to establish a refuge for other albino Africans in MozambiueThis is an emotionally deep novel not just because it portrays therim realities that albino Africans experience in East Africa but also because it brings alive the conflicted and caring characters within its pages Po becomes than a tragic figure with her intelligence and courage portrayed vividly Ezeuiel escapes as a refugee to Toronto but in so many ways can never leave behind his tormented past the Brazilian journalist also has his challenges as he tries to convey Po s situation yet does not entirely win her trustI enjoyed this book immensely It captures realities of Tanzania and Mozambiue that I have seen But at the same time it shows characters Et si la maladie n'tait pas un hasard ? grappling bravely with their pasts and trying to build their futures without letting despair overwhelm themDe Sa writes very well better than I remember in his past books But what stands out most is his sensitivity and sympathy for his characters A very fine novel highlighting major social concerns and conveying people confronting these with courage and resilience I loved this novel and I had the privilege of hearing the author speak at a book club in Toronto about it prior to my reading itIt is a deeply moving story about the tragedy and horror of three separate lives including one with Albinism whom has endured the wrath and fear of her tribes beliefs in the curse she bears and can inflict upon themA tender love story and what I found most compelling is the as yet untold story hint hint Anthony of the narrators childhood in Brazil this is likely what has made the empathic listening to and telling of Po s story so touchingExcellent writing Children of the Moon is a compassionate exploration of the horrors of war and the vagaries of memory Told with restraint DeSa brings together three perspectives three vantage points to explore the impact of colonialism racism love and war The novel asks some pretty big uestions What is truth Is truth absolute What is the value of a life Whoets to tell the story This story while seemingly very different from his earlier work still mines the Portuguese experience and still fundamentally addresses our shared human experience and explores how we build community Po is a person with albinism Zeca is a former child soldier suffering from dementia Serafim is a journalist trying to repent for the unintended conseuences of a prior article Together through
Each Of Their Narrative Threads We Getof their narrative threads we Den of Shadows (Gamblers Den getlimpse into the reality of the post colonial experience in Mozambiue and TanzaniaThe novel is also about memory The vagaries of memory The ways in which memories wash over us and haunt us The way that memory is and is not selective The memories we hold to ourselves The memories we choose to share with others The structure of the novel mirrors the content of the novel Nothing is linear or chronological Time if fluid moving back and forth as memories arise This makes for a so This book is a
MAJOR STEP FORWARD FOR ANTHONY DE SA HIS EARLIERstep forward for Anthony De Sa His earlier are very Scraps Of The Untainted Sky good but in Children of the Moon De Sa moves into a in depth detailed and intricately written novel Shifting in time location and character the novel covers a wide spectrum of a very distressing time in Portuguese historyThere are three major characters in this novel all of whom near an albatross around their necks Serafim is a journalist who must live with the fact of how his earlier writings revealed and changed the lives of a vanishing culture Ezeuiel must deal with a life of trauma family tragedy and brutal surroundings Finally there is Po a child who mustrow up in a world where her albinism marks her as different to all and a target of violence and ostracism to someWith very effective writing De Sa weaves the lives of these people together and in the process creates a very intriguing novel To top it off he wraps much of this novel around a most interesting physical structure called the Grand hotel which is in itself a character of its ownIf you want a novel that draws its pen across the expanse of Tanzania and Mozambiue and the turmoil of the times this book is a reat read Children of the
Moon is uiet yet compelling It is also lovely and at the sameis uiet yet compelling It is also lovely and at the same fierce and shattering A 4 12 star read for meSome might categorize the book as historical fiction due to its historical subject matter information that was new and interesting to me However the book felt much like a novel of contemporary fiction The writing was succinct descriptive and wonderful In addition it is a story about so many things that are still happening today told from the perspective of 3 different narrators in past and present timeframes I particularly enjoy books the use of a multi person perspective and different timeframes De Sa uses both methods deftly to create curiosity suspense time for reflection and much Children of the Moon is a love story and a story of war in all its ferocity and inhumanity It is also the story of colonialism and how land and other wealth is expropriated in a violent manner from a country s long term multigenerational residents despite their at. 's tumultuous story As Pó navigates the world she must claim her life in the face of violence and ostracismFurther south in Portuguese controlled Mozambiue Ezeuiel struggles for acceptance too Adopted by missionaries he is not recognized by his Portuguese father's community or by his Makonde mother's tribe When civil war erupts he must choose .