Whiteman by Tony D'Souza

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In an Ivory Coast village where Christians and Muslims are squaring off for war, against a backdrop of bloody conflict and vibrant African life, Jack Diaz—an American relief worker—and Mamadou, his village guardian, learn that hate knows no color and that true heroism waits where we least expect it.

During lulls in the violence, Jack learns the cycles of Africa—of hunting in the rain forest, cultivating the yam, and navigating the nuances of the language; of witchcraft, storytelling, and chivalry. Despite the omnipresence of AIDS, he courts a stunning Peul girl, meets his neighbor’s wife in the darkened forest, and desperately pursues the village flirt. Still, Jack spends many nights alone in his hut, longing for love in a place where his skin color excludes him.

Brimming with dangerous passions and the pressures of life in a time of war, Whiteman is a stunning debut and a tale of desire, isolation, humor, action, and fear.


About Tony D'Souza

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Tony D'Souza is the author of three novels, including the award-winning Whiteman. He has contributed to "The New Yorker, Playboy, Esquire, Outside, Salon, Granta, McSweeney's, O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Fantasy", and elsewhere. A recipient of the Sue Kaufman Prize, Florida Gold and Silver Medals for fiction, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and the NEA, Tony was nominated for a National Magazine Award for coverage of Nicaragua's Eric Volz murder trial and spent three years in Africa with the Peace Corps.
Published April 9, 2007 by Mariner Books. 292 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Travel. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Whiteman

The New York Times

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He has elected to live in this West African country of "bloody coups and bloodless coups and attempted coups and aborted coups and averted coups and rumored coups" for the same reason idealists — whether missionaries, Peace Corps workers or democracy-builders — have always given upon venturing in...

Apr 16 2006 | Read Full Review of Whiteman

The Guardian

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Funnily enough, there are many "NGO dogs" in Africa, recognisable by the collars placed on them while they were still loved, before their departing owners abandoned them to struggle for survival: an abiding image of the aid workers' relationship with Africa.

Jul 08 2006 | Read Full Review of Whiteman

Publishers Weekly

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When the war finally forces Jack to flee, D'Souza (no relation to political pundit Dinesh) skillfully counterpoints Jack's sojourn with his stateside existence, yielding unexpected motivations for Jack's work and his liaisons.

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Entertainment Weekly

In this intensely observed tale, U.S. relief worker Jack Diaz arrives in the coup-ridden Ivory Coast on behalf of Potable Water International.

Apr 05 2006 | Read Full Review of Whiteman

Suite 101

There is even a point where the author makes a crucial mistake in his timeline of events by saying first, that Jack's organization has no money for wells because of the 9/11 terrorist attack, but then later he says that Jack arrived in 1999 so in fact they should have had money for at least a cou...

Jan 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Whiteman

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