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Blind Masseuse: A Traveler's Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia

Blind Masseuse: A Traveler's Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia

by Alden Jones

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Overview

In this stunning debut novel, a child dissects the darkness at the heart of her British diplomatic family. Living in Nigeria on the brink of civil war, Anna also known as Jake becomes blood brothers with Dave, the Korean American daughter of a C.I.A. operative. They do push-ups, collect pornography, and plot lives of unmarried freedom while around them a country disintegrates. Luscious, terrifying, and raw, Nigeria itself becomes a lesson in endurance, suffering, love.
Stories are layered upon stories: Anna's grandmother tells stories about life as a white woman on the Gold Coast; the clairvoyant and closeted "Aunt" Elsie gives Anna a story of transformation to hold onto in the coming tumult of adolescence. Yet Where Bones Dance also spirals down to the stories that are not told sexual abuse, the myth of benign colonialism, the chaos of postcolonial Africa. Sensual and fantastical by turns, this moving, funny, immensely readable book delivers an understanding of the interplay of sexuality, gender, race, and war that is sophisticated beyond the years of its intrepid narrator.Winner, Georges Bugnet Award for Novel, Alberta Literary Awards, Writers Guild of Alberta
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians and the Public Library Association"


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780299295745
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date: 03/14/2017
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Alden Jones has lived, worked, and traveled in over forty countries, including as a WorldTeach volunteer in Costa Rica, a program director in Cuba, and a professor on Semester at Sea. Her work has appeared in AGNI, Time Out New York, Post Road, The Barcelona Review, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast, and The Best American Travel Writing. She lives in Boston.

Read an Excerpt

I discovered that I liked the blur in the photographs. I liked the haze. They made the images of Burma dreamy, surreal, which is how it was to me. I liked that the filter was the tourist's shield. I could even say I'd done it on purpose: the work reflects the tourist's view of Burma. The countryside looked easy and peaceful to us. Herders and workers lived their daily lives outside our fast-moving machine. What we saw and remembered did not reflect the true Burmese experience, lives lived suffering memories of torture, a sister raped, a son stolen. No. I saw willows.—excerpt from The Blind Masseuse
© The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Charm of the Unfamiliar                                   
Lard Is Good for You (Costa Rica)                           
A Normal American Life (New York)                                   
Coke Is It (Bolivia)                            
The Blind Masseur (Costa Rica)                               
One Side of the Story (Nicaragua)                             
The Answer Was No (Cuba)                         
This Is Not a Cruise (Around the World)                             
How to Be a Tourist (Cambodia)                              
The Burmese Dreams Series (Burma)                        
I Know What You Did in Egypt: A Letter to Gustave Flaubert (Egypt)                             
Afterword                              
Acknowledgments

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