The Leopard Man
We all live our lives on this side of the mirror. But when joy touches us, and when bliss flashes inside us briefly, we have a stronger intuition. The best life, and the life we would really want to live, is on the other side of the mirror - the side that faces out to the great light and which hints at an unsuspected paradise.
The greatest stories speak to us with our own voice, but they speak from the other side.
Ben Okri, Nigerian author
I was awakened by a sound like a thump on the chest, and sat up in bed with a jerk. It moved through my body like a dark hum. I listened again, but could hear only Ingrid breathing beside me, and the weak whistling of the trees outside. The children were asleep in the next room and all was still.
The night was pitch dark and smelled of paraffin. I opened the mosquito net and took a few steps across the cold cement floor. Flicking on the light switch by the door achieved nothing for, naturally, the generator had shut off at 10 p.m. I moved over to the window and felt something crunch under my feet. Suppressing an urge to scream I swiftly pulled my feet away. There were cockroaches on the floor; they bit and stung me.
What have I got myself into, I thought? Why am I fumbling about in the dark, in this guesthouse, in the dead of night?
"The Leopard Man" tells the story of a Norwegian family travelling to Tanzania to work for the Norwegian Peace Corps. They shall assist in developing a secondary school in the Northern part of the country, among the Iraqw people. Already the first night in the village frightening and dramatic events take place. The family members are involved in conflicts which consequenses they are totally unable to comprehend. The Leopard Man is an exciting and beautiful novel that takes the reader deep into a mythical, African reality.
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