‘Sir, you know, when I was small, I met with a situation which was pretty similar to this. In the neighbouring village, where my grandfather`s brother was the chief, almost everyone died with a very highly contagious disease that we used to call Bush-curse. Then my father, who had gone to support the traditional healer had contracted the disease, and my village was seriously affected. I do still remember my father leaving with the healer to Guinea. Then he had returned to Liberia as the disease spread across the border. For me, it is just the history that repeats.’ (…) ‘You know, we have scientific evidence from a limited number of countries only since 1976, but it does not mean that it had not occurred anywhere else, since all favourable conditions for such virus to spread are here in the West Africa; therefore I can`t disregard your childhood testimony,’ Dr. Harris said making a point that we both could agree upon.
Like all of us, Tamba, a member of the Kissi community in Liberia, lives several lives : he was born in the Kissi community of Lofa, Liberia, and is forced to leave his village and his family because of a deadly disease that took his grandfather and father. At this point, he does not yet know that he is heading towards his second life in another country and will covert to a new religion.
In this beautiful novel, Pramudith D. Rupaisnghe, the author of Bayan, writes the story of a young Kissi meets Reverends Maurice and Philip in the Christian mission in Sierra Leone, and then becomes a husband and a father. Tamba becomes George, an explorer and a healer. Displacement, loneliness, the proximity of death, love and loss add up to his family heritage that he will always carry with him, in spite of the religion he embraces. At the end of the day, how many lives do we have ? Maybe as many as we allow ourselves, if we are strong enough to move on.
A novel about the Ebola epidemic which echoes our lives in the time of the Coronavirus.
Read more about the author :
Read more about Pramudith D. Rupasinghe’s books:
Behind the Eclipse by Pramudith D. Rupasinghe
ISBN : 978-1-4828-8755-6
Published by Partridge India (2016)
Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She has a PhD in Nigerian Postcolonial Literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She is also the author of a collection of short stories and translated books from French to Romanian. Trilingual in Romanian, French and English, she teaches English language and literature to highschool students in France.