"I give you half the road." -- an Ivorian way of saying good-bye and return again
In her book of true stories, I Give You Half the Road, writer Carol Spindel recounts the turbulent recent history of Ivory Coast by interweaving the lives of five people she has known since they were children -- a schoolteacher in a fast-growing city; an HIV-positive widow trying to hide her illness and support her sons; a diviner who speaks with spirits and sells bulletproof shirts; a scrap iron dealer who is successful despite being illiterate, and a young man who joins an armed rebellion and learns that war is a business. This is also an American writer's memoir of a long-term relationship between her family and the
Ivorian community she loves and learns from.
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Carol Spindel has been revisiting, learning from, and writing about the same rural community in northern Ivory Coast since 1981. Her book about her first sojourn there, In the Shadow of the Sacred Grove, was a New York Times Notable Book. She is also the author of Dancing at Halftime: Sports and the Controversy Over American Indian Mascots as well as many essays and articles. She lives in Urbana, teaches nonfiction workshops at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and is a longtime activist with the ACLU. More at carolspindel.com.