A Distant Grief: Preface
Molly has started posting exerts from Kefa Sempangi's A Distant Grief, and it is well worth reading:
The student shifted his weight from one foot to the next as he stood in front of my desk. It was an awkward moment for both of us. He was a bright, capable young man but in the last weeks his performance in class had fallen far below average. His last exam was unreadable and, against my will, I gave him a failing grade.Wow. Great question. I definitely need to read this book this summer...
Now I held the exam in my hand as evidence and tried to challenge the boy to work harder. He only stared at me vacantly. When I finished speaking there was a long silence of several minutes before he spoke.
“I will try to work harder, Professor Sempangi.”
He said the words without conviction and walked away. At the door he turned suddenly and his face was no longer empty but furious.
“Not long ago Idi Amin’s soldiers came through my village,” he said, his voice full of a remembered grief.
“Now my father is buried, my mother is dead with a terrible death, and my brother has disappeared. I have no home and I can hardly find food. And I am not alone. Our whole country is in desolation. Amin’s victims are everywhere. They are lying unburied in the streets and in the forests, and they are rotting before heaven. But where is God? Is He dead? How could He exist and tolerate this evil?”
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