Travelers by Helon Habila

“It was an absolute honor to read this book and a double honor to review it. The author’s style is so flawless and transparent that it disappears; you feel you’re suddenly in the very scene that is unfolding. The characters are members of the African diaspora, from Nigeria, Zambia and other countries, moving through European and American cities in search of an education, a better life, friends or family they have lost, all the time mourning the countries they left and trying maintain their dignity, even their lives. They connect with each other in relationships that are provisional, sometimes evanescent, but nonetheless searing, intense, and heartbreaking… 

…I am an older white woman, an educated easterner — and who is this Helon Habila, a Nigerian, so learned in the English language that he quotes Milton and Donne? How does someone so ‘different’ from me create such profound and lovely people with whom I can relate so deeply, heart to heart?” –Elizabeth T. (Salem, MA)

“I have read many stories of the Hispanic migration into the US, but none of the African diaspora. Initially one is just drawn to someone so like themselves (American) and little by little the view is widened and seasoned with the events and feelings of other characters. … I keep reflecting on how I would handle the need to leave my country of origin with no idea of what to expect in my new home. Added to that would be the factor of inability to “blend” due to skin color and language. In all walks of life, I am constantly reminded: ‘There, but for the Grace of God, go I.'” –Linda V. (Independence, KY)

“This is the first book I’ve read on the recent refugee crisis and their stories were eye opening. I learned a lot through the description of each person’s journey and I found myself rooting for them. I am going to recommend it to my book club, there is lots to discuss.” –Louise E. (Ocean View, DE)

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