Native Stranger: A Black American's Journey Into the Heart of Africa

Eddy Harris, Author
Eddy Harris, Author Simon & Schuster $21.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-74897-5
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
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A ``Blackamerican,'' as he calls himself, Harris ( Mississippi Solo ) spent a year traveling throughout Africa. His magnificent book is a search for roots, an adventurous travelogue, a cry from the heart, a political dissection of oppressive regimes and a lyrical love song to a continent. It will almost certainly stir controversy and debate. Seeking a motherland, the author was shocked by the fatalism, racism, passivity and tribal backwardness he found among native blacks. White colonial overlords have been replaced, he writes, by one-party military regimes led by ``a brotherhood of thugs guarding their positions and powers.'' Heartbreakingly beautiful scenes alternate with horrifying depictions of poverty, disease, pervasive corruption and empty, wasted lives. In his mastery of language, glinting irony, poetic prose and uncanny powers of observation, Harris is the equal of Paul Theroux and Bruce Chatwin. BOMC and QPB al ter nates. (Feb.)
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