"First Printing, September, 1992" stated on copyright page; autographed by Richard Wiley to original owner (see pic); hardbound; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket very good.
Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for American Fiction, and one of America's most talented novelists, Richard Wiley gives fresh proof of his scope and power in this major novel set in Africa.
Jerry Neal, an American living in Lagos, is principal of an international school attended by children of Americans living abroad and the African elite. The wife he loved is dead, and guiding the education of the offspring of others is his chief source of satisfaction and self-esteem. He is a man floating free, with both the privileges and purposelessness of detachment. He remains a stranger in the teeming, tumultous city. But Neal's self-contained world is suddenly shattered. He finds himself in prison, the victim of a government power play and his involvement with a group of Nigerian dissidents. Stripped of his mantle of immunity, he becomes more emotionally human again, living in his own skin, feeling the chill of danger, the heat of desire. Against his will, schoolmaster Neal begins his own education - one that takes him into the arms of the estranged wife of charismatic dissident leader Beany Abubakar. Thus Jerry Neal is seduced into a commune of serious people - artists and activists struggling against ruthless fate... and into confrontation with the prickly Abubakar himself, a leader whose arrogance is matched by intelligence, and whose passionate idealism is equaled by brutal realism. And slowly Neal starts to understand African aspirations... other kinds of lives and values... the barriers of language and culture to meaningful communication. This discovery unites him with the rebels in a plot to seize power slipping from the hands of a failing government. And it brings him to an ultimate reckoning of what commitment means and costs in the African crucible of choice and change. This extraordinary, beautifully crafted, and often funny novel is a riveting revelation of a distant land and its people brought tellingly home to the heart.