In an Ivory Coast village where Christians and Muslims are squaring off for war, against a backdrop of bloody conflict and vibrant African life, Jack Diaz—an American relief worker—and Mamadou, his village guardian, learn that hate knows no color and that true heroism waits where we least expect it.
During lulls in the violence, Jack learns the cycles of Africa—of hunting in the rain forest, cultivating the yam, and navigating the nuances of the language; of witchcraft, storytelling, and chivalry. Despite the omnipresence of AIDS, he courts a stunning Peul girl, meets his neighbor’s wife in the darkened forest, and desperately pursues the village flirt. Still, Jack spends many nights alone in his hut, longing for love in a place where his skin color excludes him.
Brimming with dangerous passions and the pressures of life in a time of war, Whiteman is a stunning debut and a tale of desire, isolation, humor, action, and fear.
About the Author
Tony D’Souza is the author of three novels, including the award-winning Whiteman. He has contributed to The New Yorker, Playboy, Esquire, Outside, Salon, Granta, McSweeney’s, O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Fantasy, and elsewhere. A recipient of the Sue Kaufman Prize, Florida Gold and Silver Medals for fiction, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and the NEA, Tony was nominated for a National Magazine Award for coverage of Nicaragua’s Eric Volz murder trial and spent three years in Africa with the Peace Corps.
PRAISE FOR WHITEMAN
"What makes Whiteman so affecting is D’Souza’s understanding of what it’s like to fall in love with people who will never be like you, with a place that will never be home and with a troubled continent that—despite your best intentions—you can do nothing to save."—PEOPLE (Critic’s Choice)
"Quirky, seductive and funny. The author has acquired the arts of a master storyteller, and each little tale nestled in this novel has an intoxicating, fireside charm."—LAURA MILLER, SALON
"[Whiteman] is a subtle but damning response to the assumption that Western aid is all-benevolent."
— Entertainment Weekly
"The book has a very real, immediate, nonfiction feel to it."
— Los Angeles Times Book Review
"It's the quality of vision that makes D'Souza's novel notable and, for a first book, unusual."
— New York Times Book Review
"Quirky, funny, and seductive... capture[s] a shard of the host country in a way that NGO novels rarely do."