04-20-2007 03:19 PM
My name is Ande Zellman, and I am delighted to be moderating this month's discussion with Kris Holloway about her extraordinary memoir, Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali.
I am the editorial director of the Literary Ventures Fund, a new private non-profit foundation with offices in Boston and New York that supports fiction, non-fiction and poetry as well as discourse about literature in today's world. Monique and the Mango Rains is LVF's first non-fiction selection. It was chosen for the many reasons you have discovered if you have read Kris' memoir.
And if you have read Monique you have experienced the tranformative power of a great book. I encourage you to join this conversation about a deep cross-cultural friendship between Kris and Monique Dembele, a true hero who is smart and funny and wise beyond her years. The midwives of Africa provide front-line healthcare to women, their children and by default the entire village. Kris' memoir widens the lens; it provides an instant connection to the lives of struggling Africans who, sadly, many of us know only through headlines filled with dispair or the charitable contributions of celebrities.
I'm looking forward to what I know will be a rich and memorable discussion. There is so much to talk about.