The Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir

Wayétu Moore. Graywolf, $26 (264p) ISBN 978-1-64445-031-4
In this beautiful memoir of dislocation, a young girl flees war-torn Liberia with her family to America. Moore (She Would Be King) begins with herself as a five-year-old living with her sisters, grandparents, and father in Monrovia. When the 1990 civil war erupts with terrifying massacres by rebels overthrowing president Samuel Doe (who Moore imagines as “the Hawa Undu dragon, the monster in my dreams, the sum of stories I was too young to hear”), the family heads for Sierra Leone, hoping to get to America. Moore describes this desperate trek in the lyrical voice of her younger self, a dreamy girl who filters the danger through a folktale lens. The middle section tracks her childhood after her family resettles in Texas, then her trauma-plagued young adulthood in Brooklyn (“nightmares were old friends”), and racially fraught romances (“I never feared my blackness, until the men,” referring to the black men she first dated in college). The book’s final section holds a mirror to the first, describing in her mother’s voice her mother’s journey from New York back to Africa to rescue her lost family. Building to a thrumming crescendo, the pages almost fly past. Readers will be both enraptured and heartbroken by Moore’s intimate yet epic story of love for family and home. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/17/2020
Release date: 06/02/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-7213-6637-8
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-64445-056-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-7213-6638-5
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