From Publishers Weekly
In 2001, Zachary traveled to Africa to write a novel, but instead he became besotted with a woman and a continent. In his book, Zachary (The Diversity Advantage
), a former foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal
, chronicles his six-year affair with Chizo, a Nigerian woman he met in Accra, Ghana, whom he eventually married. Each of the seven sections is set in the various locations where their romance blossomed—including Northern California, Grand Basdaam in the Ivory Coast, Accra and New York. His love story is sincere, though his descriptions often verge on the saccharine: Turning her head, her eyes meet mine and our lips come together; She moved according to the rhythms of her place. She felt comfortable in her skin. She was beautiful, daring, powerful and upsetting. She robbed me of my routine. There are intriguing passages, however, as when Zachary depicts life in West Africa, relates the stresses of navigating immigration or calms his anxious Jewish parents. (Jan.)
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"What better way to explore -- and cross -- boundaries between cultures than by falling in love? The story of Zachary's romance and marriage is an intriguing and unusual one that sheds light on two continents, as we see each through the eyes of another." -- Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost
"G. Pascal Zachary introduces us to a most extraordinary woman, who takes us -- as she took him -- on a passionate, terrifying, sensual ride into the very soul of modern Africa." -- Michael Tucker, author of Living in a Foreign Language
"Though the narrative revolves around the couple's negotiation of issues arising from their differing skin colors and cultural bases -- Zachary's depictions of the in-law introductions for each partner are priceless -- it also reveals the author's great affection for Africa. 'In America, life is cloaked in a heavy garment of fear, anxiety and the relentless drive for self-protection,' he writes. 'In Africa, outer armor is stripped away, and people are permitted -- dare I say entitled? -- to experience the rawness of their own solitary human predicament. For reasons I cannot comprehend, in Africa I feel more human than in America.' Zachary's witty tale of opposites attracted provides an illuminating portrait of African and American daily lives." -- Kirkus