is a novel of forbidden love set in a rain forest village in the heart of Africa. It seamlessly merges adventure, romance, and the psycho-thriller while deconstructing Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness
, with David undergoing the Kurtz syndrome - to a lesser degreee, of course. Like Kurtz, David enters the heart of "blackest" Africa as a white man, and as a Peace Corps volunteer of genuine idealism, he finds himself both "corrupted by" and also empathizing with the Africans he becomes involved with, and tempted to "go native." As David writes in a letter home, "In all my reading about Africa, the black and white together was bleak, with going native connoting going insane."
In sum, TANGA is an irresistible love story. From the moment David sees Assam naked in the stream, right up through his final confrontation with the climactic tragedy as a result of her taboo being broken, the tension and excitement between them never dissipates. With its genuine folk tales, colorful proverbs, and striking evocation of locale that captures the essence of the place and its people, TANGA boasts a depth of emotion interwoven with dramatic tension that builds to a powerful climax.