It seems almost possible to fully comprehend the ongoing AIDS catastrophe in Sub-Saharan Africa. Not only does the region account for more than three quarters of all AIDS deaths and 91 percent of all infections among children; the toll keeps rising. The number of Africans living with HIV is nearing 25 million and the number of AIDS living in the region already exceeds 11.5 million. Novelist Uzodinma Iweala (Beasts of No Nation) now presents this modern plague not in dizzying statistics, but in the lives of men and women, healthy and ill, who are affected by it. With a sensitivity to their individual situations, he speaks with doctors and nurses; teachers, truck drivers, and shopkeepers; sex workers, widows, and widowers; students and orphans. Indeed, reading Our Kind of People, one realizes that this terrible disease registers not only among the victims that it kills, but those who it leaves waiting for death, and those it leaves behind to watch. Editor's recommendation.
Our Kind of People: A Continent's Challenge, a Country's Hopeby Uzodinma Iweala
In 2005 Uzodinma Iweala stunned readers and critics alike with Beasts of No Nation, his debut novel about child soldiers in West Africa. Now his return to Africa has produced Our Kind of People, a non-fiction account of the AIDS crisis every bit as startling and original. HIV/AIDS has been reported as one of the most destructive diseases in recent/em>/em>… See more details below
In 2005 Uzodinma Iweala stunned readers and critics alike with Beasts of No Nation, his debut novel about child soldiers in West Africa. Now his return to Africa has produced Our Kind of People, a non-fiction account of the AIDS crisis every bit as startling and original. HIV/AIDS has been reported as one of the most destructive diseases in recent memory—tearing apart communities and ostracizing the afflicted. But the emphasis placed on death, destruction, and despair hardly captures the many and varied effects of the epidemic, or the stories of the extraordinary people who live and die under its watch.
Our Kind of People opens our minds to these stories, introducing a new set of voices and altering the way we speak and think about disease. Iweala embarks on a remarkable journey through his native Nigeria, meeting individuals and communities that are struggling daily to understand both the impact and meaning of HIV/AIDS. He speaks with people from all walks of life—the ill and the healthy, doctors, nurses, truck drivers, sex workers, shopkeepers, students, parents, and children. Their testimonies are by turns uplifting, alarming, humorous, and surprising, and always unflinchingly candid. Integrating his own experiences with these voices, Iweala creates at once a deeply personal exploration of life, love, and connection in the face of disease, and an incisive critique of our existing ideas of health and happiness.
Beautifully written and heartbreakingly honest, Our Kind of People goes behind the headlines of an unprecedented epidemic to show the real lives it affects, illuminating the scope of the crisis and a continent's valiant struggle.
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