These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home
“He says a hush is not a trifling matter, that a hush has a message to share, and that to truly meet a hush, one must approach it with hesitation. One must be prepared to be marked, broken, mocked, and dismembered. To sit with a hush is to meet oneself as if for the first time. It is to come home. And this, coming home, is why I write you.”
Tackling some of the world’s most profound questions through the intimate lens of fatherhood, Bayo Akomolafe embarks on a journey of discovery as he maps the contours of the spaces between himself and his three-year-old daughter Alethea. Told as a series of letters to Alethea in a voice that is by turns poetic, vulnerable, and revelatory–but always engaging–this book describes the daily encounters between the author and his sprightly young daughter, and the failures and redemptions that arise in course of their life together. The book is about giving Alethea a bath, learning to brush her teeth, navigating her demands, concern about her fixation with hand-held devices, watching her refuse to cooperate with her dance instructor, and much more. It is also about the reflections and questions that run through and around their relationship. What does it mean to be a parent? What is our place in this world? Where is our home?
Akomolafe’s narrative is urgent and unguarded as he discovers that something as commonplace as becoming a father is a cosmic event of unprecedented proportions. Using this realization as a touchstone, he is led to consider the strangeness of his own soul, to contemplate the myths and rituals of modernity, to ask questions about food and justice, to ponder what it means to be human, to evaluate what we can do about climate change, and to wonder what our collective yearnings for a better world tell us about ourselves. These Wilds Beyond our Fences is a passionate attempt to make sense of our disconnection in a world where it is easy to feel untethered and lost. It is a father’s search for meaning, for a place of belonging, and for reassurance that the world will embrace and support our children once we are gone.
Published by North Atlantic Books, California, USA / Penguin-RandomHouse [November 14, 2017]
We Will Tell Our Own Story: The Lions of Africa Speak!
We Will Tell Our Own Story joins a growing number of Afrocentric books that are already revolutionizing the way Africans view themselves and their academies. The creation of a cadre of scholars devoted to truth, rigor, ancestrality, and values is a mark of a mature civilization; these authors are the necessary foundation for further growth.
This superb book will be a landmark in African studies because the scholars who have undertaken the task of telling their own social sciences, humanities, and literary narratives have displayed a sharp and penetrating engagement with history, politics and culture in such a powerful manner that one cannot read these chapters without claiming them to be the gold standard in contemporary thinking.
Aaron Smith, Temple University, USA
We Will Tell Our Own Story is instructive to scholars and general readers as a method of confronting the manifold problems of misinterpretation and false presentations about African people. I find this work to be extraordinary in conception and execution.
Swahili SMT, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil
Editors: Bayo Akomolafe (PhD), Molefi Kete Asante (PhD), Augustine Nwoye (PhD)
Published by Universal Write Publications LLC (First Edition, September 2016; Second Edition, May 2017)