Letters from Togo Singular Lives PDF · Letters from

Letters from Togo Singular Lives PDF · Letters from


Letters from Togo Singular Lives ➩ [Ebook] ➤ Letters from Togo Singular Lives By Susan Blake ➵ – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk Blake's adventurous essays are based on the letters she wrote home to her friends while in Lome Togo the West African capital where she taught American Literature As Blake begins the process of making Blake's adventurous essays Togo Singular ePUB ´ are based on the letters she wrote home to her friends while in Lome Togo the West African capital where she taught American Literature As Blake begins the process of making sense out of a vibrant seeming anarchy we are pulled along with her into the heart of Togo a tiny dry strip of a country no one can Letters from MOBI :å even find on a map.


3 thoughts on “Letters from Togo Singular Lives

  1. Chelsea Chelsea says:

    In summary Out Of Touch Like a Dorothy who crash lands in Oz and then deems herself an authority on the new land while describing what she sees without ever setting foot out of the house Blake claims a knowledge of Togo that is superficial and tinged with unintentional racismPlease please take my advice and read The Village of Waiting by George Packer if you want to learn anything about the realities of everyday Togolese life and culture or the actual history of the country Packer's memoir weaves together his immersion in Togolese life with astute observations about the complexity of development in Togo and Africa in the context of colonial history in the country and throughout the continentLetters from Togo in contrast portrays the life of an American whose perspective is insulated by and contained within the Western ex patriot community This in and of itself is an interesting world but what makes the book cringe inducing is Blake's continual misinterpretation of her privilege and cultural tourism as an accurate representation of Togolese life She comes close to recognizing the bias of her perspective with her parrot like repetition of an awareness that there are haves and have nots but then veers away with laughable conclusions like Travel in Togo is easy Yes for a white American who buys a Honda Civic in her first week there and the African women are older and independent than the typical American students She then goes on to identify independent as being tied down to a husband and childrenThis book is painfully self unaware Blake has a superficial understanding of politics and the hierarchy how things work in Togo She tells the story of Dictator President Étienne Eyadéma by relating the text of a piece of propaganda a children's book published by the party Her analysis of history goes no further seeks no other sources This is not the only area where she miserably fails to delve She never learns a local language she never really gets to know her Togolese friends Maybe the wealth divide prevents this to an extent but her unfortunate mistake is not really comprehending the extent of this and its implications She fancies herself a resident of Lome and says as much expressing offense and bafflement that she would be perceived as a touristuotes follow with examples of her infuriating lack of cultural and general awarenessrespectively inability to understand the lifelong pervasiveness of cultural socialization speaking on behalf of Togolese colleagues assumed cultural supremacy my way is right and better Africa is backwards and racist terminologyvalue judgementsBecause she spent nine years in the US I tend no to make the cultural adjustments when talking with Elise that I do with most other people I figure she'll know what I mean But I keep being surprised at how differently we understand things p 104Rather than teach an almost certainly controversial book I did what I say any Togolese professor would have done ordered a collection of short stories p102 parenthesis hers not mineGetting access to information is a challenge So it seemed like a sudden dawn of rationality when the stationery store opened in the commercial center a few weeks ago p 94The temple of the python was a gyp 111In the forward Albert E Stone compares Letters in Togo to a 1920s travel memoir African Apprenticeship by Margery Perham He says Blake has confronted and discarded the racism snobbery and chauvinism which Perham so artlessly voices as concomitants of her fascination with and love of Africa 'I seemed to feel the immensity of the problem they represented and the absurdity of my attempting to understand it' she Perham confesses with a trepidation Blake never feels Although Perham's racism and elitism seem to be outwardly obvious she also struggles with her own irrelevance The forward is right to point out that Blake doesn't seems to struggle with the incongruousness of her presence and the relevance or sustainability of her work She is merely there to teach for a year and record the sights and sounds diary like It would be a better book if she had grappled with her context in a way that showed she understood it


  2. Ann Ann says:

    A collection of essays based on letters written home while she spent a Fulbright year in Lome Togo from 1983 1984


  3. Liralen Liralen says:

    Blake spent a year in Togo in the mid 80s teaching English on a Fulbright scholarship Some time after her return to the States she pulled together letters she'd written in that year revised them and wrote some new pieces in the same form As such this is somewhere between memoir and an essay collection; certain threads carry through the whole book but each 'letter' tends to have a specific focusShe's a good writer and the letters are certainly funny and interesting but upon finishing the book I realised that I know little about Togo this being the first book I've read set in the country than I did going in Much of what she writes about involves expats or things common to expats than locals and I can't help but think that her story wouldn't feel very different if 'Togo' were replaced with 'Nigeria' Or 'Tanzania' Or 'Gabon' She has some perspective and spends a fair amount of time and space trying to figure out differences between her understanding and that of the Togolese around her but when push comes to shove she spends very little time outside her comfort zone erm insofar as spending a year in a different countryculture is staying within one's comfort zoneThe parts of the book I found most interesting and wished she'd spent time on were the chapters discussing the interpretations of students to Updike's 'AP' or Walker's The Color Purple the latter discussed not with students but with acuaintances There she gets closest to understanding cultural differences and ideas; I would have loved to see of the content cover the courses she taught


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