(to be released in April 2022)
« Growing up, I have many fond memories of this beautiful sandy town overlooking a vast river. I remember lots of pounded Dumboy with delicious pepper soup. The dudu to spice up the soup was always spot on. I can still hear my mother’s laughter when the family sat under the Kola tree. Hanging out in Lloydsville is one of her best and happiest moments.
Standing in Harper, I felt like I was back home. I began to imagine my forefathers entering Maryland County through this very river, and starting a new life in Africa away from slavery and dissent. »
Liberia, 1989. The civil war breaks out. The author, Pep, a very young man at the time, is forced to flee Liberia and start a long journey through West Africa, like so many others.
More than a simple eye witness account, Adolphus Scott’s book is also a socio-historical chronicle of the fourteen years of the conflict, as well as of the political climate in West Africa in the 1990s.
Landmarked by dramatic events (war, exile, epidemics), the author’s life story is a modern journey through some of the harshest human experiences. From being a refugee to working for the UNICEF, the author’s life is also similar to a time travel. Written in a neutral, non dramatic tone highly charged feelings and tipped with resilience and hope for the future, Scott’s book creates an atmosphere in which the longing for home is omnipresent though not over dramatic. The beautiful landscape descriptions counter-balance the gravity of the situations and life conditions of the refugees, and hint at their hope of a better future.
As the author evokes several times the home coming of slaves of African descent in the 18th century to the Liberian coast in order to found a free community, what does home coming mean in the end ? Do we go back to a place or to memories only ? What is one’s mission in the world and how can one fulfill it ? Such are the questions Adolphus Scott’s book invites the reader to ask himself and reflect upon.
Let the Pepper Bird Fly by Adolphus Scott
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.