By Lara Santoro
(Other Press, Hardcover, 9781590512715, 288pp.)
Publication Date: September 17, 2007
List Price: $23.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
A transcendent and powerful first novel about two women seeking justice and hope in Africa.
With a swift, compressed narrative style and compassionate vision that recalls the works of Graham Greene, Lara Santoro offers an indelible portrait of Africa in the throes of an epidemic that will ultimately constitute the largest loss of life, love, memory, and hope in modern history.
Anna is an Italian-born journalist based in Kenya. What began as an exploratory three-week tour of Africa has turned into two years of tough assignments and hard living that have provoked a personal crisis: "'We don't do massacres,' Warren, my editor, warned, but what else was there to do? 'Give us the ray of light in the dark,' but there was no light to speak of. The longer I stayed, the angrier I became . . . "
Mercy is the large, flamboyantly dressed African woman who ambushes Anna in the market one day and talks herself into a job as Anna's housemaid. Soon Mercy is organizing interviews for Anna in Nairobi's worst slum and establishing much-needed order in the journalist's disheveled life. While tension and misunderstanding punctuate Anna and Mercy's developing relationship, the two women establish a genuine connection that gives each the courage to battle injustice, greed, and cynicism.
Smart, suspenseful, and ultimately heart-wrenching, Mercy is a powerful tale of moral outrage and personal transformation.
Lara Santoro was born in Rome and educated in the U.S. and France. A veteran journalist who has worked for the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek, Santoro has traveled extensively covering wars, famines, and every major aspect of the AIDS epidemic. Mercy is her first novel. She lives in Ranchos de Taos, NM.