Qty:1
  • List Price: $22.95
  • Save: $4.38 (19%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: 95% New. In Stock. Excellent Condition. No marks in and out. Item is Fulfilled by AMAZON - Eligible for FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping. Amazon Customer Service with Delivery Tracking. Receive your item in 3-5 Days!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Mango Elephants in the Sun: How Life in an African Village Let Me Be in My Skin Paperback – August 8, 2000


Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, August 8, 2000
"Please retry"
$18.57
$0.01 $0.01


Frequently Bought Together

Mango Elephants in the Sun: How Life in an African Village Let Me Be in My Skin + The Village of Waiting + Nine Hills to Nambonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village
Price for all three: $44.11

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; New Edition edition (August 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570625727
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570625725
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1992, Herrera set off for Northern Cameroon, where she spent two years as a volunteer teacher in the Peace Corps. While her Navajo and Spanish origins would make her a person of color in the U.S., the villagers of Guidiguis perceived her as a white woman or nasara, a term she soon realized had more to do with American culture and privilege than with skin color. Guidiguis, she found, was both modern and retrograde. The king and the mayor both had televisions and luxury cars, her neighbor bought a CD player and most of the residents appeared to have electricity, though it functioned erratically. Still, most of the daily workwashing, cooking, carrying water, grinding millet, making clothes, etc.was done by hand, and by women, which often disturbed Herrera. A fine storyteller, she paces her account so that her past in California slowly emerges (it turns out she has left an abusive marriage) between such adventures as eating termites and finding ingenious ways to circumvent the schools tradition of corporal punishment. Though the occasional bits of magical realism and mediocre poetry feel forced, the prose is lively overall. The combination of Herreras spunk, her romantic interest in a local doctor and her clever response to the political tensions involved in a teachers strike make for an absorbing read. Clearly Herrera knows how to balance the bad with the good. Its no wonder that by the time her stay ended, many of her new friends in Guidiguis saw her departure as a tragedy.

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

YA-The content of this book is just as beguiling as its intriguing title and stunning jacket. Teens will learn much from Herrera's tale of her sojourn in the back of beyond. She tells two stories: one about her experiences as a 23-year-old Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, and the other about how those experiences helped her to exorcise the demons of a childhood rape, a suicidal father, and an abusive marriage. This part of the story is gradually revealed, as she is slowly able to rise above these traumas and celebrate life. Anyone who has been alone in a strange milieu will empathize with Herrera's initial months as "the white woman" in a remote desert town. Over time, she settles in and adjusts to her situation. Two friends die without medical care, she falls in love with a local doctor but reluctantly gives him up, she "adopts" two teenage boys who help and form a bond with her, and she is caught in the middle of a labor dispute when her fellow teachers go on strike. Herrera deals with all of these events and comes out the stronger for it. At the end, she is less critical of American problems and more appreciative of our freedoms-and our indoor plumbing. She also comes to understand that a positive attitude is half the battle. A glimpse of an utterly foreign way of life that provides much food for thought and discussion.
Judy McAloon, Potomac Library, Prince William County, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 10, 2004
I felt compelled to write this review because folks who have criticized it as more personal narrative and "journal-y" have completely missed the point. If you notice the title, the book was never meant to be a narrative of "what to expect if you are going into the Peace Corps" rather it is a spiritual and magical retelling of a young woman's personal and physical journey into the unknown. Herrera weaves a beautifully human story with personal detail, private pain and vivid images that takes the reader on her journey into the North African desert.
If you happen to be looking for "what to expect" you will definitely get a sense of life as a Peace Corps volunteer...in all its vivid detail...but if you think that is the point of reading this book... you will have missed the point entirely.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Burkley on November 7, 2002
I recently applied to be a Peace Corps volunteer and naturally wanted to learn of some personal experiences. I purchased several personal memoirs from returned volunteers. I have read both this novel and "The Ponds of Kalambayi" by Mike Tidwell. They are both excellent resources for anyone interested in the Peace Corps...or even anyone just interested in learning about different cultures. I really enjoyed reading both of these books. They are very well-written.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 2001
I am soon to depart for Cameroon with Peace Corps to teach science, and have been looking everywhere for information. When I came across this book, I was excited by all of the positive reviews, and bought it. I agree that this is a good book, but is somewhat romaticized. Maybe it's just because the author is 23, and learning what all of us learn at one time or another in our twenties. I also skipped ALL of the poetry sections. I love poetry, but none of these poems held my attention or sparked any insight for me. It is simply the expressive poetry written by a girl trying to find herself. If you're looking for a realistic view of PC, look elsewhere. If you're trying to decide if you want to join, it's a great book to get you fired up. For the real Q and A on Peace Corps, try "So you want to be in Peace Corps? Here's what you should know". Much more informative and practical.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 2004
I'm reading this book right now for an English class at the school where Ms. Herrera currently teaches. After hearing her slide show on the book, the images she describes were brought to life. Without this, it still is a great book. It's more about what would I do in her position than it is about being a volunteer. For those who want to read a story about the need to fit in in a new place, this is it!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. Warren on November 22, 2006
Verified Purchase
Mango Elephants is a book from the heart. Herrera shares her vulnerabilities and strengths, courage and fears, joys and sorrows, all in the jumble of extremes that is so real for any traveler living alone in a culture very different than her own.

The reader becomes inspired, as Herrera was inspired, by many of the villagers she met in Cameroon. What amazing individuals they were, and what deep bonds she formed with them! Mango Elephants leads the reader through a door into their worlds. The presentation is simple, but the feelings are raw, and very human. Ultimately Susana proves to be courageous, reaching out to find mutual meaning and to offer those around her concrete signs of love.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Siti Jevens on September 11, 2013
A beautiful story by a peace corps set in the southern fringes of the Sahara desert in Northern Cameroon. I enjoyed her vivid accounts and the details of the story. This book serves as a good read for anybody interested in the amazing way of life of the people of Northern Cameroon. It is my third novel on Cameroon this month and I enjoyed them all. The Usurper and Other Stories, Man no be God, and Disciples of Fortune are other good Cameroonian stories.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?