It's been a while since I've fallen this hard for nonfiction. McGrath's experiences among the charming, vibrant citizens of Lesotho and the wit, warmth, and writerly spark with which he puts them on the page make for a scrumptious literary chakalaka (see page 100).”
-Mary Roach, author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
"Subtle, witty, and well-observed, McGrath's narrative is a chronicle of spiritual growth and a memorable love letter to the remote African kingdom that stole his heart. A warmly humane memoir."
"A wonderful book, keenly observed, a breezy, thought-provoking read. ... A joyous, surprising, sometimes funny book, although the cloud of AIDS hangs over many chapters. ... McGrath is a likable, curious guide, embracing whatever adventures come along."
"An endearing combination of insightful commentary and sympathetic comedy. This is a book in the best tradition of travel writing. ... Laugh-out-loud moments are balanced by heart-warming interludes, and altogether, this is an illuminating and enjoyable read that reminds readers of the essential oneness of humanity."
"McGrath tells his stories, even the tragic ones, with hope and humorthe greatest defenses against despair...McGrath may be new to the tradition and art of African storytelling that is inborn to the people of Mokhotlong, and indeed to most Africans, but in Everything Lost is Found Again, he takes a few shots anyway, and this time, more often than not, he hits the mark."
"Part reflection, part travel log, and an all-over love song to Lesotho, EVERYTHING LOST IS FOUND AGAIN is a beautiful story that will have readers longing to travel to foreign lands. As an outsider, Will McGrath sees both the oddities and the commonality of people. With a compassionate writing style that never condescends , he shares his experiences of both tragedy and joy as he ventures into his host land. Wrapped in the golden glow of a warm heart, McGrath has crafted a story that can proudly sit along side the works of Bill Bryson and Alexander McCall Smith."
-Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books
"With astute sensitivity, a reporter's eye, and a poet's command of language, McGrath introduces us to so much more than a place. He situates us inside the small quiet moments of grace that define everyday lives. The writing is at once joyous and devastating, luminous and tender."
-Inara Verzemnieks, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Among the Living and the Dead
"Who says there are no places left on earth to explore? In this charming memoir, Will McGrath traverses one of the world's least-known countries - Lesotho, tiny and mountainous, grappling with AIDS but rich with storybook history and its own invincible spirit. Everything Lost Is Found Again is beautifully written, by turns moving and hilarious. It's an enlightening adventure in the tradition of Patrick Leigh Fermor and V.S. Naipaul."
-Tony Perottet, author of Off the Deep End: Travels in Forgotten Frontiers
“In dazzling prose and with humor both tender and sidesplitting, McGrath pulls off what I most adore about foreign reportage: he makes me care deeply about a place I’ve never been and wish desperately that I, too, could visit the nation and share his experiences.”
Rafe Bartholomew, former Grantland senior editor and author of Pacific Rims
An award-winning nonfiction writer's account of the memorable year he spent living in the South African kingdom of Lesotho.
When McGrath's cultural anthropologist wife, Ellen, suggested they move to Lesotho, a landlocked nation with the "second highest HIV prevalence rate on the planet," he had no idea what Lesotho was or where it was located. Nevertheless, he embraced Ellen's idea, and the pair soon moved to a remote eastern district of the country called Mokhotlong. While his wife researched "how families were adapting to the AIDS crisis," the author took a job as a high school teacher. He soon befriended many of the district's interesting inhabitants, including Nthabeleng, a 4-foot "tiny dynamo" of a woman who "sees all, hears all, knows all," and Limpho, the beloved "hog-butchering librarian" who left Mokhotlong one day to quietly die in a hospital. A keen student of human behavior, McGrath took particular delight in observing the behaviors of the Basotho people. Total strangers held hands, people stared openly at foreigners out of curiosity and interest, and women nursed babies without shame in public. For one cycle of seasons following their arrival, the author and his wife immersed themselves in Basotho culture. In spring, they came as newcomers to a ruggedly beautiful, high-altitude land. By summer, they partook of community celebrations that included a pig-killing feast. That fall, they marveled at dinosaur prints left in ancient rock and witnessed how AIDS was leaving its own mark on the population, all while contemplating their new lives. They left in winter, forever changed by their experiences, with a profound connection to a place that had become their second home. Subtle, witty, and well-observed, McGrath's narrative is a chronicle of spiritual growth and a memorable love letter to the remote African kingdom that stole his heart.
A warmly humane memoir.