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The Digital Book Club selection for October is Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah: This captivating tale of nineteenth-century Africa follows the loyal men and women who carried explorer and missionary Dr. Livingstone’s body, his papers and maps, fifteen hundred miles across the continent of Africa, so his remains could be returned home to England and his work preserved there.
Join our Facebook Group: a place for community reading, discussion, and connection around the Library’s Digital Book Club selections. Share your thoughts, enjoy interviews with the author, and more!
Two book club discussions led by Pequot Library’s Chief Librarian Christine Catallo are available:
October 28 at 2:00 p.m. – register here by October 27.
October 28 at 7:00 p.m. – register below by October 27.
Registered participants will receive an email on the day of the event with Zoom meeting link. Limited to 100 participants per meeting.
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About Out of Darkness, Shining Light
WINNER OF THE 2020 CHAUTAUQUA PRIZE
ONE OF NPR’S BEST BOOKS OF 2019
“Engrossing, beautiful, and deeply imaginative, Out of Darkness, Shining Light is a novel that lends voice to those who appeared only as footnotes in history, yet whose final, brave act of loyalty and respect changed the course of it. An incredible and important book by a masterful writer.” —Yaa Gyasi, author of Homegoing
“This is how we carried out of Africa the poor broken body of Bwana Daudi, the Doctor, David Livingstone, so that he could be borne across the sea and buried in his own land.” So begins Petina Gappah’s powerful novel of exploration and adventure in nineteenth-century Africa—the captivating story of the loyal men and women who carried explorer and missionary Dr. Livingstone’s body, his papers and maps, fifteen hundred miles across the continent of Africa, so his remains could be returned home to England and his work preserved there. Narrated by Halima, the doctor’s sharp-tongued cook, and Jacob Wainwright, a rigidly pious freed slave, this is a story that encompasses all of the hypocrisy of slavery and colonization—the hypocrisy at the core of the human heart—while celebrating resilience, loyalty, and love.
About Petina Gappah
Petina Gappah is a widely translated Zimbabwean writer. She is the author of two novels, Out of Darkness, Shining Light; The Book of Memory; and two short story collections, Rotten Row and An Elegy for Easterly. Her work has been short-listed for the Orwell Prize, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN/Open Book Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and the Prix Femina (etranger), among other honors. She is the recipient of the Guardian First Book Award and the McKitterick Prize from the Society of Authors. A lawyer specializing in international trade and investment as well as a writer, Petina currently lives in Harare, Zimbabwe.