Antonia Saw the Oryx First by Maria Thomas, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Antonia Saw the Oryx First

Antonia Saw the Oryx First

by Maria Thomas
     
 

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“A complex, deeply written and finely wrought double portrait of two women, one black, one white, picking their way through the debris of a shattered colonialism, discovering unexpected treasures buried in the rubble.”—Margaret Atwood
 
“Impressive.”—Vogue
 
“Sharp, surprising images of

Overview

“A complex, deeply written and finely wrought double portrait of two women, one black, one white, picking their way through the debris of a shattered colonialism, discovering unexpected treasures buried in the rubble.”—Margaret Atwood
 
“Impressive.”—Vogue
 
“Sharp, surprising images of Africa.”—ELLE
 
“Exquisite. The year’s best novel.”—USA Today
 
Though American, Dr. Antonia Redmond is African-born and has lived in East Africa for almost her entire life. With the end of colonialism, like all whites, she faces exile. Only the intercession of an influential lover preserves her visa, but should she leave, she will not be allowed to return. As the inevitable reckoning comes and the white population dwindles, she clings to the land to which she feels a deep connection. Antonia Saw the Oryx First is a profound exploration of personal and cultural identity, love and leave-taking.
 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Heat and wild color, fear and defeat tangle together in these 14 stories until the reader is stunned by the soaring images and their terrifying implications for the people of East Africa, where Thomas (Antonia Saw the Oryx First lived for 12 years, absorbing every nuance, it seems, of land and language. She writes in many different voices, the title story a brassy evocation of a white couple living in a squalid Dar-es-Salaam slum, cuckolding each other, dreaming of American snow and knowing that it will never wash their marriage clean. Utterly different is Gwendolyn of ``Summer Opportunity,'' a black girl given the chance to improve her career possibilities by spending a summer in Lagos. Before she leaves, she buys a pair of glitzy platform sandals, ``whore shoes,'' her mother accuses, but Gwendolyn doesn't plan to ruin her career by consorting with Africans. The shoes are sacrificed, though, along with her hopes, to the wife of the Nigerian she can't help sleeping with. Desperation blackens all these tales, but none more formidably than ``Why the Sky Is So Far Away,'' a glimpse of Peace Corps volunteers during an African drought. Parched and sick with malaria, they set out to vaccinate the natives against smallpox and pick up an old man who tells them about a people who hack away the sky, eat it, spit it out as excrement, robbing the world of rain. This is a collection of enormous emotional impact. (September 23)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569474464
Publisher:
Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
03/01/2007
Edition description:
Anniversar
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.57(w) x 8.17(h) x 0.88(d)

Meet the Author

Maria Thomas wrote three books: Antonia Saw the Oryx First (1987), Come to Africa and Save Your Marriage (1987), and African Visas (1991), all originally published by Soho Press. She died in a plane crash in Ethiopia in 1989 while accompanying a Texas congressman on a mission to a refugee camp.

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