The narrator's journey to a place six thousand miles from home is also a solitary voyage of introspection. Visited by ancestral memories of the Irish famine, she is stirred by Muslim prayers that echo her own inherited -- but neglected -- faith. And with Zara, the daughter she had once guided, and whom she is now guided by, she encounters hunger, not only in its literal, most devastating form but in other guises as well: the hunger of memory when she and Zara return to the desert city of Zinder in search of the house where they had lived seventeen years before; and hunger for what is nearest and what is farthest away, in her encounters with a one-legged boy who befriends her and comes to represent the child she thought she had lost forever in her daughter.
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As the narrator accompanies Zara on her rounds, meeting her daughter’s women friends, she is preoccupied with her failure to have done more to help when she lived in Zinder, where something happened that marred her relationship with her daughter.| Read Full Review of Still Waters in Niger
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