EPUB The Darling By Russell Banks – dugisits.co.za

summary The Darling

review The Darling 103 Russell Banks brings to life in The Darling another political historical narrative of great scope and range As in Continental Drift and Rule of the Bone racial issues are explored; as in Cloudsplitter idealism runs off the rails Banks always makes it work because he keeps it real The darling of the story is Dawn Carrington neé Hannah Musgrave a political radical and member of the Weather Underground forced to flee America to avoid arrest At the time of the novel she is 59 living on her working farm in upstate New York with four younger women recalling her life in Liberia and her recent return to that country to look for her sons Mainly we return to a place in order to learn why we left she says For Hannah the decision was harrowing She abandoned her sons during a bloody civil war after the death of her husband Woodrow Sundiata a black African Cabinet Minister in President Samuel Doe's government who is beheaded in front of her and her three boys Banks explores mercilessly the corruption greed sloth cynicism and violence running through the Liberian leaders from Tolbert to Doe to Charles Taylor weaving the real story of the horrors of Wes. I wondered if I had lost my mindI thought I could be a madwoman And I wondered if I was standing there in the dark by the side of a narrow unpaved road in the eastern hills of Liberia because somewhere back there without knowing it I d lost touch with reality Lost it in small bits a single molecule of sanity at a time in a slow invisible irreversible process of erosion and couldn t notice it while it was happening couldn t take it s measure until now when it was too lateBanks easily ranks as one of my favorite writers Rule of the Bone and Affliction are among my all time most loved novels This one doesnt uite inhabit the same place those two do but it is still a great book Banks always combines beautifulnteresting prose with exceptional imagination As well as enaging the reader s intellectual curiosity His books are always firing on all cylinders

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review The Darling 103 T Africa with the fictional narrative of Hannah and Woodrow He can take history off the page bringing to life the times people and events he recounts Hannah was born a child of privilege and chafed against it from her youth it was an old impulse this desire to separate myself in the dance of life from the people who had brought me and become one instead with the people excluded from the dance Her father is a famous pediatrician her mother a shadow figure maintaining a predictably correct suburban household Both parents are liberal but Hannah outstrips their political stance early on They are estranged for many years because of her flight but the separation is really much deeper than distance or politics She becomes a wife and mother and is bored and unfulfilled by the role She turns to creating a sanctuary for chimpanzees and finds her real purpose An old pattern It's how since childhood I have made my daily life worth living by turning tedium and despair into a cause She names each chimp calls them her dreamers and cares for them while others care for her children Self knowledge is not high on a list of her personal attributes Although s. My story in all its versions is only a tale of too late Maybe at best it s a cautionary tale To my sons I used to say Be careful what you wish for Know what you love best Beware the things that catch your eye And this I tell you as well Never love someone who can t love you back Hannah Musgrave is a reluctant narrator probably because her conscience isn t exactly spotless But she is a compelling one Whatever misgivings I have about her stated motivations her personal witness account of a violent period in the history of the United States and Liberia two nations linked by a bloody heritage of slavery corruption and greed is passionate and memorableBorn to affluence on the East Coast and educated in one of the top liberal colleges there the young Hannah rejects her upper middle class intellectual role and joins the ranks of anti war civil rights militants at the tail end of the 1960s After a stint in the Southern States organizing voters registrations and protest movements one that end in disappointment for the East Coast do gooders Hannah turns radical and tries to bring forward a revolution by arson and bombing within the loose ranks of the Weather Underground Eventually of course literature got displaced by reality as it invariably does but for a while my everyday life had the clarity intensity and certitude of fiction Russel Banks managed to impress me right from the start of this revolutionary memoir The account of Hannah s involvement in the racial and political movements of those years certainly has the clarity and intensity mentioned in the uote above The certitude though is based on a shakier foundation mostly implied by Hannah in her present time as a 59 years old disillusioned farmer in a charming North East location She s still one tough cookie but what I really admired in her memoir is the way she lets her past actions speak for her instead of trying to editorialize or rewrite history and put herself in a better light Hannah and Banks use this return to the past as a tool to chip away at that youthful certitude at the self delusion of the white crusader with a mission to put the world to rightThis exploration of the past in search for enough evidence to give meaning and purpose to her journey through life takes Hannah back to Africa and Liberia the place where she ended up when her own government put her on its Most Wanted Criminals list The place where she reinvented herself as a nurse environmentalist and eventually dutiful wife and mother to a local politician At the time I didn t realize that I was once again seizing an opportunity to abandon one life for another That s the real American Dream don t you think That you can start over shape change disappear and later reappear as someone else Hannah s main problem though is that her newly adopted country is heading towards a bloody civil war pushed there by her former country through CIA and corporate intervention Once the necessary under the counter payments were distributed in Monrovia the companies were free to loot whatever they wanted from the lands rubber citrus rice cocoa and in recent years a small but growing uantity of diamonds Russell through the voice of Hannah Musgrave paints a comprehensive and passionate landscape of this little corner of Western Africa Comparisons with Graham Greene who wrote about neighbouring Sierra Leone are easy to make and uite useful Where Greene explores the uestions of religion in a modern setting Russell dissects the dilemma of liberal thinking and academic solutions confronted by the harsh realities of a tribal culture sabotaged by big industry and Cold War spy gamesHannah Musgrave is not really a likable lead character Frankly she is rather annoying in her privileged reckless selfish and often naive attempts to do good Her good intentions usually end up causing harm than good like a one person mirror of a nationwide adventurous and self serving meddling in other people s and other nation s affairs It was like jumping from a ship that was in no danger of sinking and finding myself alone in a tiny rowboat in the middle of the ocean Most of the issues arise from an apparent inability of Hannah to decide who she is and what she wants to do with her life Her marriage and subseuent family life is the result of lust and impulsive behaviour instead of true love Her attempt to integrate into the life of the country ends in spectacular failure view spoiler as she runs from the rudimentary village of her future husband and has a brief affair with his driver hide spoiler

Russell Banks ✓ 3 review

review The Darling 103 He characterizes herself as a darling there is little evidence to support her claim distant father cold mother controlling husband She finally sees herself in a true light Here it all was again the names and dates the tired facts of my biography up to then the description of my few skills and talents It was the CV of a small time would be domestic terrorist Sad Pathetic Hannah Musgrave is a visitor in her own life never really connecting with anyone; a dreamer than a darling Russell Banks has once again in The Darling shown himself to be one of the finest novelists writing today He has written very convincingly in a woman's voice a story of youthful idealism destroyed by the real world of a woman who connected completely with chimps than with humans and who says once it was clear to me that I would have to abandon my husband and children and return alone to the United States once I saw that I would be alone safe from prosecution I realized gradually at first and then in a rush that it was exactly what I had wanted all along… I was once again seizing an opportunity to abandon one life for another Another reinvention for Hannah Valerie Rya. War massacre and menage a trois thanks to LC for coining this phrase That pretty much sums up this disappointing book by the author of the great The Sweet Hereafter The Darling is long winded self indulgent and at times uite unrealistic The protagonist is a white woman who fled to Liberia after creating and setting off a few bombs for the Weather Underground We are constantly reminded of her mindset and her bed mates and she doesn t come off as an authentic female character but rather she s the male author s reincarnation as himself his alter ego his hero Who knows Add to this the whole chimp side story and it just doesn t work as a single bookThe area that is the most difficult to read are the atrocities and Big Man power plays that occurred in Liberia all based on real events How can people treat others with such scorn and complete compassion is hard to imagine but it did happen and Banks only scratches the surface of the evil that played out in this surreal American created African country where citizens have last names like Smith Doe Monroe But it s not a manufactured Hollywood sound stage but rather an all too real country where its former benefactor turned its back and indeed even helped fuel the fires

  • Paperback
  • The Darling
  • Russell Banks
  • Spanish
  • 02 July 2018
  • 9788466618175