I, MOMOLU by Lorenz Graham


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A continent away from the very well received North Town and South Town and a shift from the emphasis on the problems of racial prejudice. The setting is Liberia, from a small tribal town in the interior to the totally alien urban world of Cape Roberts. The difficulties a boy faces when he realizes the advantages of some aspects of civilization and finds these in conflict with the traditional values of his family and society is a fairly popular theme especially in books about underdeveloped countries. It is extremely well-handled here. The development of the boy Momolu is shown with more than the usual subtlety and his relationship with his conservative father Flumbo is particularly well defined. Flumbo associated soldiers with killing and determinedly considered them his enemies even though the Liberian army was primarily concerned with projects to modernize and develop the country with its large primitive areas. He was angered by Momolu's interest in the soldiers and destroyed one of their uniforms. As ""punishment"" Flumbo and Momolu had to come to Cape Roberts and then to stay at the army barracks. There are some well-focused glimpses into Liberian life (both good and bad) and the father's and son's reactions are well portrayed. The subject isn't quite as vital as Graham's other books, but this is one of the better stories available on modern Africa.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1966
Publisher: Crowell