The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi: A Novel

Author: Arthur Japin

Publisher: Ottawa

ISBN:

Category:

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View: 287

“The first ten years of my life I was not black.” Thus begins this startlingly eloquent and beautiful tale based on the true story of Kwasi Boachi, a 19th- century African prince who was sent with his cousin, Kwame, to be raised in Holland as a guest of the royal family. Narrated by Kwasi himself, the story movingly portrays the perplexing dichotomy of the cousins' situation: black men of royal ancestry, they are subject to insidious bigotry even as they enjoy status among Europe’s highest echelons. As their lives wind down different paths–Kwame back to Africa where he enlists in the Dutch army, Kwasi to an Indonesian coffee plantation where success remains mysteriously elusive–they become aware of a terrible truth that lies at the heart of their experiences. Vivid, subtle, poignant and profound, The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi is an exquisite masterpiece of story and craft, a heartrending work that places Arthur Japin on a shelf that includes Joseph Conrad, J.M. Coetzee, Kazuo Ishiguro and Nadine Gordimer. From the Trade Paperback edition. From Publishers Weekly Dutch singer/actor Japin's debut draws on extraordinary real-life material: in 1837 two young Ashanti princes, Kwasi and Kwame, were taken to Holland, ostensibly to receive a European education, but in fact as peons in a cynical exchange between the Ashanti king (Kwame's father) and the still active slave traders. Kwasi tells the strange story as a gentle, peevish old man living on a failed coffee plantation in Java at the turn of the century. He remembers his jungle boyhood with cousin Kwame, the coming of the Dutch traders and his and Kwame's early years as curiosities at a Dutch school. Later embraced by the royal court, the two went on to college and became offbeat figures in Dutch society, struggling to persuade themselves that they had really found a new life. Kwasi, the more adaptable, cherished a passion for a Dutch princess until she married elsewhere for convenience. Kwame, deeply uneasy at his equivocal role, joined the army and was posted back to Africa where, eventually realizing that he was a mere plaything of the Dutch, he killed himself. Only toward the end of his life is Kwasi aware that he, too, has lived in self-deception. Japin tells the tale with imaginative empathy and, in the case of Kwame, truly powerful poetic re-creation. However, his incorporation of text from authentic 19th-century documents is disconcerting. This is an unusual story that could appeal to an appetite for the odd corners of history, but perhaps is too close to history to please the lovers of literary fiction who would at first seem to be its natural readers. (Nov. 21) Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Booklist Japin's beautifully written debut novel is based on the true story of two West African princes, Kwasi and Kwame, who are sent by the king of Ashanti (modern-day Ghana) to study in Holland in the 1830s. In Holland, they attend a private boarding school, where Kwasi excels at his studies and Kwame at art. Neither boy fits in; they are ridiculed by some and shunned by others. Kwame never ceases to long for the day he can return home to Africa, whereas Kwasi embraces the new culture and tries to blend in as much as possible. The boys' different reactions to Dutch culture drive a wedge between them, and they choose separate paths. As Kwame tries to return home, Kwasi accepts a government post, only to encounter prejudice from every side. Both face harsh disappointments: Kwame from the home he thought would not forsake him, and Kwasi from the realization that the abandonment of his native culture has harmed him most of all. Quietly moving, Japin's novel is a powerful study of displacement and disillusionment. Kristine Huntley Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Fiction

The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi

Author: Arthur Japin

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN:

Category: Fiction

Page: 400

View: 279

“The first ten years of my life I was not black.” Thus begins this startlingly eloquent and beautiful tale based on the true story of Kwasi Boachi, a 19th- century African prince who was sent with his cousin, Kwame, to be raised in Holland as a guest of the royal family. Narrated by Kwasi himself, the story movingly portrays the perplexing dichotomy of the cousins' situation: black men of royal ancestry, they are subject to insidious bigotry even as they enjoy status among Europe’s highest echelons. As their lives wind down different paths–Kwame back to Africa where he enlists in the Dutch army, Kwasi to an Indonesian coffee plantation where success remains mysteriously elusive–they become aware of a terrible truth that lies at the heart of their experiences. Vivid, subtle, poignant and profound, The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi is an exquisite masterpiece of story and craft, a heartrending work that places Arthur Japin on a shelf that includes Joseph Conrad, J.M. Coetzee, Kazuo Ishiguro and Nadine Gordimer. From the Trade Paperback edition.
New York (N.Y.)

New York

Author:

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: New York (N.Y.)

Page:

View: 351

Academic libraries

Choice

Author:

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Academic libraries

Page:

View: 121

History

Merchants, Missionaries & Migrants

Author: Ineke van Kessel

Publisher: Kit Pub

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 159

View: 603

In November 1701, David van Nyendael, an envoy of the Dutch West India Company (WIC) was the first European to visit the royal court in Kumasi, capital of the emerging Ashanti empire in the hinterland of the Gold Coast. Three hundred years of Dutch-Ghanaian relations have passed since then. "Merchants, Missionaries and Migrants" focuses on various aspects of this long-standing and intricate economic, political and cultural relationship between the Ghanaians and the Dutch. Experts from Ghana, the Netherlands, Suriname and Indonesia present their research findings in fascinating histories. They describe a wide range of topics from Dutch-Ghanaian history: from the trade in gold, ivory and slaves to the cocoa trade; from liaisons between European men and African women in previous centuries to present-day Ghanaian migration to the Netherlands; from the involuntary migration of tens of thousands of slaves to the plantations in Suriname to the largely forgotten history of the African soldiers who sailed from Elmina to serve in the Dutch army in the East Indies; and from the role of Dutch geneva in Ghanaian ritual to the tragic story of Jacobus Capitein, the first black Christian minister to be ordained in the Netherlands.
Literary Criticism

The New York Times Book Reviews 2000

Author: New York Times Staff

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 2500

View: 867

This anthology examines Love's Labours Lost from a variety of perspectives and through a wide range of materials. Selections discuss the play in terms of historical context, dating, and sources; character analysis; comic elements and verbal conceits; evidence of authorship; performance analysis; and feminist interpretations. Alongside theater reviews, production photographs, and critical commentary, the volume also includes essays written by practicing theater artists who have worked on the play. An index by name, literary work, and concept rounds out this valuable resource.
Talking books

Cassette Books

Author: Library of Congress. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Publisher:

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Category: Talking books

Page:

View: 534

Libraries

Kaapse bibliotekaris

Author:

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Category: Libraries

Page:

View: 827

Issues for Nov. 1957- include section: Accessions. Aanwinste, Sept. 1957- (also published separately)
Arts and society

The Low Countries

Author: Stichting Ons Erfdeel

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Arts and society

Page: 320

View: 362

Travel

The Netherlands

Author: Jeremy Gray

Publisher:

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Category: Travel

Page: 348

View: 386

Every spring Parliament Hill bursts into bloom with Dutch tulips-Holland's gift to Canada for providing a safe home for Queen Beatrice and the little princess during WWII. Canadians have always had a special relationship with the Netherlands, and for those who wish to travel to this land behind the dikes, Lonely Planet has produced an outstanding guide. Whether you're planning a modest cycling holiday, or a deluxe tour of the five-star hotels, museums and opera house, this colourful guide covers all the bases.Campgrounds, cycling routes, entertainment centres and festivals, they're all here along with a special section on one of the country's enduring icons-the windmill. A handy Dutch language glossary, and the comprehensive coverage of notable historical figures from Erasmus to Mata Hari, will make travel-time pass quickly. For art-lovers there are plenty of tips on where to view the finest Dutch artists, from the Old Masters to contemporary giants like Mondriaan.
Travel

Amsterdam and Environs

Author: Michelin Travel Publications (Firm)

Publisher: Michelin Italiana

ISBN:

Category: Travel

Page: 255

View: 605

One small step for Hammond, one giant leap for road maps. Hammond enters the International Travel market with a line of road maps and atlases born of a century of cartographic excellence. Printed on quality paper and bound in attractive durable covers, these maps, deliver Hammond's renowned standard of cartography to the discriminating international traveler.
Africa

Africa Analysis

Author:

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Africa

Page:

View: 231

A fortnightly bulletin on financial and political trends.