Angels in Swollen Crises: Stepmother

FriesenPress
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 In November of 1991, with the Nile in flood, a breakaway faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) led by Riek Machar killed approximately 2,000 Dinka civilians in the southern Sudanese state of Jonglei in what would become known as the Upper Nile Dinka Massacre—as part of his power struggle with SPLA leader John Garang, Machar looked to exploit ethnic rivalries between the Nuer and the Dinka peoples.

This is the horrifying maelstrom that swept up and displaced Chol-wdwuok and his extended family and would, nine years later, land him in a Kenyan refugee camp south of Lokichogio. Chol-wdwuok was a young boy at the time, young enough not to have been conscripted as a child soldier by the SPLA, which routinely took children as young as 13. Of course, this brutal massacre was but one act in a much longer play, namely the Second Sudanese Civil War which raged between the SPLA and the Sudanese government, which in 1991, was represented by the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC) under General (and President) Omar al-Bashir.

The Second Sudanese Civil War was one of the longest civil conflicts on record, lasting 22 years from 1983 to 2005. Angels in Swollen Crises is a compelling nine-year thread (1991–2000) woven through the tattered fabric of bloody events that blanketed the region like a shroud. It is a story of unbelievable hardship and dislocation, following its narrator from childhood to young adulthood.

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About the author

 Chol-wdwuok was born in Jonglei State, South Sudan, in 1986, the eldest of Willow and Magak’s five children. His family scattered all over the State, when he was 5 years. In 2000, he moved to Kenya for education. There, he attended Kakuma Refugee school––––Fashoda Primary School where he got a Jesuit Refugee scholarship to Katilu High School, Kenya. After graduating from Katilu High, he applied for and got into World University of Canada, WUSC scholarship to University of British Columbia, UBC where he attained his Bachelor Degree in Mathematics and Economics.


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Additional Information

Publisher
FriesenPress
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Published on
Mar 10, 2016
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781460282717
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
History / Africa / East
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Dont Call Me Clarence! begins with an introduction describing what life was like during the authors childhood, the Depression years, a bit of colorful history of that era. Then the chapters take us from the authors early years how his inferiority complex came to be, a lot to do with character-forming, the pressures and influences and how important it is to be aware of both harmful and positive experiences, and even more importantly, how often people who denigrate us may actually benefit us by making us try harder to prove them wrong,

The author had at least three strikes against him as a youth: that name, Clarence, in his tough neighborhood humiliated him; he was short and thin which made him an easy mark for neighborhood bullies. Bad enough, there was the Fat Man, Fathers nephew who came to live with the family during the Depression until he could get on his feet financially, but he never left. The Fat Man was a cynical, faultfinding person who seemed to target Clarence with criticism mostly because Clarence tended to argue and fight back. But thanks to his father and mother, good old-fashioned, Old Country Christians, Clarence acquired what he called a beacon to distinguish right from wrong that influenced him to lead a straight life. His behavior was affected by a combination of positive and negative responses, but mostly his determination to fight back, to try harder to prove himself, helped him succeed in the difficult life that he led.

Outside the home, there were two very positive influences that gave Clarence a goal in life. There was Mrs. Lowe, the grade school librarian who persisted in getting Clarence to read. It wasnt easy for her, but she put a book in his hand, and he opened it, and suddenly that fantastic world of books took hold. Clarence couldnt get enough books to read. The more he read, the more he wanted to improve his knowledge and education. Book stories fueled his imagination and opened the door to a fantasy world where heroes always won, and good triumphed. It influenced his personality. It also energized his creative mind. His own stories came to mind. And it was a second dedicated teacher, Mrs. Gabrielle, who took him in hand and encouraged Clarence to write. He then knew that what he wanted most out of life was to become a writer, and he had a goal, which he pursued.

There were the Depression years that toughened people to hardships, and Clarence tried early in life to get work, any kind of work to help provide income for the family. He had that work ethic that employers recognized so he always had someone wanting his services. In those years before self-service markets, Clarence clerked for a grocery store, learned how to deal with people, and he learned an important lesson. When employers see you working is when other job offers come up. Work produces work.

Then came World War II. Clarence enlisted in the Navy. He served on four ships that took him to different lands to see different people. His third ship was sunk off of Ansio, Italy, and he barely survived. His fourth ship he saw being built in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. His ship, the PGM-30, a gunboat, was in Okinawa where the Japanese were determined to fight to the death, inflecting heavy wounds to our Navy. The PGM-30 was part of an invasion fleet awaiting action in the invasion of Japan, that American planes dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and suddenly the war was over.

After the war, there was a quandary in Clarence: what to do for a living? His goal of becoming a writer was stalled, at age twenty-six. Here another helpful person persuaded Clarence to go back to school. Back to college among young teenagers fresh out of high school was embarrassing, but Clarence persisted, earned hi

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Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle •Chicago Tribune • The Christian Science Monitor • Publishers Weekly

In Strength in What Remains, Tracy Kidder gives us the story of one man’s inspiring American journey and of the ordinary people who helped him, providing brilliant testament to the power of second chances. Deo arrives in the United States from Burundi in search of a new life. Having survived a civil war and genocide, he lands at JFK airport with two hundred dollars, no English, and no contacts. He ekes out a precarious existence delivering groceries, living in Central Park, and learning English by reading dictionaries in bookstores. Then Deo begins to meet the strangers who will change his life, pointing him eventually in the direction of Columbia University, medical school, and a life devoted to healing. Kidder breaks new ground in telling this unforgettable story as he travels with Deo back over a turbulent life and shows us what it means to be fully human.

BONUS: This edition contains a Strength in What Remains discussion guide.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Named one of the Top 10 Nonfiction Books of the year by Time • Named one of the year’s “10 Terrific Reads” by O: The Oprah Magazine

“Extraordinarily stirring . . . a miracle of human courage.”—The Washington Post

“Absorbing . . . a story about survival, about perseverance and sometimes uncanny luck in the face of hell on earth. . . . It is just as notably about profound human kindness.”—The New York Times

“Important and beautiful . . . This book is one you won’t forget.”—Portland Oregonian
Michael Scott Moore, a journalist and the author of Sweetness and Blood, incorporates personal narrative and rigorous investigative journalism in this profound and revelatory memoir of his three-year captivity by Somali pirates—a riveting,thoughtful, and emotionally resonant exploration of foreign policy, religious extremism, and the costs of survival.

In January 2012, having covered a Somali pirate trial in Hamburg for Spiegel Online International—and funded by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting—Michael Scott Moore traveled to the Horn of Africa to write about piracy and ways to end it. In a terrible twist of fate, Moore himself was kidnapped and subsequently held captive by Somali pirates. Subjected to conditions that break even the strongest spirits—physical injury, starvation, isolation, terror—Moore’s survival is a testament to his indomitable strength of mind. In September 2014, after 977 days, he walked free when his ransom was put together by the help of several US and German institutions, friends, colleagues, and his strong-willed mother. 

Yet Moore’s own struggle is only part of the story: The Desert and the Sea falls at the intersection of reportage, memoir, and history. Caught between Muslim pirates, the looming threat of Al-Shabaab, and the rise of ISIS, Moore observes the worlds that surrounded him—the economics and history of piracy; the effects of post-colonialism; the politics of hostage negotiation and ransom; while also conjuring the various faces of Islam—and places his ordeal in the context of the larger political and historical issues.           

A sort of Catch-22 meets Black Hawk Down, The Desert and the Sea is written with dark humor, candor, and a journalist’s clinical distance and eye for detail. Moore offers an intimate and otherwise inaccessible view of life as we cannot fathom it, brilliantly weaving his own experience as a hostage with the social, economic, religious, and political factors creating it. The Desert and the Sea is wildly compelling and a book that will take its place next to titles like Den of Lions and Even Silence Has an End.

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“The plot provided by the universe was filled with starvation, war and rape. I would not—could not—live in that tale.”
 
Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety—perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.
 
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In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of “victim” and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.
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