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In the Company of Men

In the Company of Men

Written by Véronique Tadjo

Narrated by Je Nie Fleming


In the Company of Men

Written by Véronique Tadjo

Narrated by Je Nie Fleming

ratings:
3.5/5 (25 ratings)
Length:
3 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 12, 2021
ISBN:
9781094432618
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Drawing on real accounts of the Ebola outbreak that devastated West Africa, this poignant, timely fable reflects on both the strength and the fragility of life and humanity’s place in the world.

Two boys venture from their village to hunt in a nearby forest, where they shoot down bats with glee, and cook their prey over an open fire. Within a month, they are dead, bodies ravaged by an insidious disease that neither the local healer’s potions nor the medical team’s treatments could cure. Compounding the family’s grief, experts warn against touching the sick. But this caution comes too late: the virus spreads rapidly, and the boys’ father is barely able to send his eldest daughter away for a chance at survival.

In a series of moving snapshots, Véronique Tadjo illustrates the terrible extent of the Ebola epidemic, through the eyes of those affected in myriad ways: the doctor who tirelessly treats patients day after day in a sweltering tent, protected from the virus only by a plastic suit; the student who volunteers to work as a gravedigger while universities are closed, helping the teams overwhelmed by the sheer number of bodies; the grandmother who agrees to take in an orphaned boy cast out of his village for fear of infection. And watching over them all is the ancient and wise Baobab tree, mourning the dire state of the earth yet providing a sense of hope for the future.

Acutely relevant to our times in light of the coronavirus pandemic, In the Company of Men explores critical questions about how we cope with a global crisis and how we can combat fear and prejudice.

Publisher:
Released:
Oct 12, 2021
ISBN:
9781094432618
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Véronique Tadjo is a poet, novelist, academic, and artist from Côte d’Ivoire. She earned a doctorate in Black American Literature and Civilization from the Sorbonne, Paris IV, and went to the United States as a Fulbright scholar at Howard University in Washington, DC. She headed the French Department of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg until 2015. Her books have been translated into several languages, from The Blind Kingdom (1991) to The Shadow of Imana: Travels in the Heart of Rwanda (2001) and Queen Pokou: Concerto for a Sacrifice (2005), which was awarded the Grand Prix littéraire d’Afrique noire.


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What people think about In the Company of Men

3.7
25 ratings / 5 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Beautifully written! Reminds me of the Corona Virus outbreak! I highly recommend!
  • (4/5)
    I appreciated the lyrical personification of the tree, the bats, the virus, and the unique insight into the workers.
  • (2/5)
    Vivid images but little continuity. Rambling stories. Too much baobab tree.
  • (2/5)
    I read this because it won LA Times Book Award for fiction. Usually, award winners are great to read but not this. We get lectured by a tree, bat, and the Ebola virus. Interspersed with chapters on individuals, such as doctors, nurses, family members, and survivors, we get a view of the devastation of the Ebola outbreak in Africa. I usually am interested in such medical issues, but this book didn't do it for me.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent book that gives an insight into Ebola from several different perspectives. Beginning with a frantic father sending his daughter away, two boys shooting and eating bats, and the baobab three which has lived longer than all now alive. This has no plot; rather it is a series of short chapters told from the perspective of a doctor, a nurse, a man who takes care of the bodies, a soldier, a grandmother, and a bat.The author makes a strong case for how man has so damaged not only the environment but also the basic humanity of each other. A very thoughtful and insightful book -- discouraging and depressing, but the writing is beautiful and leaves much food for thought.