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Somebody's Heart Is Burning: A Woman Wanderer in Africa Paperback – May 13, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
voice is so fresh, so wry, so funny and candid that she won me over
instantly! Her African adventures, first as a volunteer and then as a solo
traveler, bring her into contact with Africans and foreigners from all walks
of life. The depth of her connection to these individuals, and the way she
captures the complex personal dynamics that arise between people of
different cultural and economic backgrounds really sets this apart from
other travel narratives I have read. Each person she met became so real to
me that I found myself missing them when I put down the book. She is also
a great storyteller: her narrative is filled with suspense and surprises that
kept me turning the pages, eager to learn what happened next. Underneath
all that was her ongoing struggle about what it means to be a person from
the "developed" world traveling in the "developing" world. I laughed, I was
moved, I questioned, and I learned a lot about Africa in the process. A
The other huge thing that bothered me was there is no mention of FGM (Female Genital Cutting) at all. I would have hoped that the author would at least mention it and try to spread awareness of this horrible practice that occurs almost everywhere in West Africa through her book (and her theater). I was extremely disappointed and even disgusted to find no reference to it and in fact, I would not be surprised if the author does not know much about it herself in spite of living in that region for a year. What a waste. This is a classic case of selfish traveling. What good is traveling or anything in life if it helps no one but yourself?
If you want to learn more about this region or just enjoy travel books in general, I highly recommend books written by Kira Salak instead.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book ranks up there among my favorites - Tanya does an amazing job communicating her experiences in Africa as a volunteer with humor, intelligence and objectivity.Published on May 30, 2013 by chickenlil
Having been to all the same areas the book is written about I really thought this was an excellent travel memoir and a very good depiction of life/travel in this area of west... Read morePublished on December 29, 2008 by Happypoppeye
For anyone who plans on spending time in West Africa, this is a must read. Shaffer does a near-perfect job describing the everyday humor and frustrations of traveling in the... Read morePublished on July 26, 2008 by Global Citizen
I first came across Tanya's writing in a Best Travel Writing anthology (Traveller's Tale 2007). That particular piece, The Girl Who Drank Petrol, was easily the most enjoyable in... Read morePublished on May 3, 2008 by T. K. Eng
I've actually read this twice already and thoroughly enjoyed it each time. I travel a lot as well (for work and for fun) and hearing Tanya's retelling of her experiences in some... Read morePublished on March 16, 2007 by Book Lover
This book not only covers Ghana but also parts of Burkina Faso and Mali. I always love books that are written by women it glues you to the book, books written by women are full of... Read morePublished on May 6, 2006 by M. ravasizadeh
Any traveler, male or female, who loves Africa in all its glory and horror, should read this book. Poignant, funny, wise, with a good background riff on the meaning of love and... Read morePublished on December 23, 2003 by James O'Reilly