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Not Quite Paradise: An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka #2020

Not Quite Paradise An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka A chronicle of life on the resplendent island combining the immediacy of memoir with the vividness of travelogue and reportage Adele Barker and her son Noah settled into the central highlands of Sr

  • Title: Not Quite Paradise: An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka
  • Author: Adele Marie Barker
  • ISBN: 9780807000618
  • Page: 162
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Not Quite Paradise: An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka By Adele Marie Barker, A chronicle of life on the resplendent island, combining the immediacy of memoir with the vividness of travelogue and reportage Adele Barker and her son, Noah, settled into the central highlands of Sri Lanka for an eighteen month sojourn, immersing themselves in the customs, cultures, and landscapes of the island its elephants, birds, and monkeys its hot curries and sweeA chronicle of life on the resplendent island, combining the immediacy of memoir with the vividness of travelogue and reportage Adele Barker and her son, Noah, settled into the central highlands of Sri Lanka for an eighteen month sojourn, immersing themselves in the customs, cultures, and landscapes of the island its elephants, birds, and monkeys its hot curries and sweet mangoes the cacophony of its markets the resonant evening chants from its temples They hear stories of the island s colorful past and its twenty five year civil war between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil Tigers When, having returned home to Tucson, Barker awakes on December 26, 2004, to see televised images of the island s southern shore disappearing into the ocean, she decides she must go back Traveling from the southernmost coasts to the farthest outposts of the Tamil north, she witnesses the ravages of the tsunami that killed forty eight thousand Sri Lankans in the space of twenty minutes, and reports from the ground on the triumphs and failures of relief efforts Combining the immediacy of memoir and the vividness of travelogue with the insight of the best reportage, Not Quite Paradise chronicles life in a place few have ever visited.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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      Published :2020-05-10T22:06:12+00:00

    1 thought on “Not Quite Paradise: An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka

    1. It takes a certain kind of woman to up and move from Arizona to a war torn, wet country on the other side of the world Such a woman is Adele Barker, who, in 2001, shortly after the 9 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, brings drags her fifteen year old son Noah to Sri Lanka where she will spend the next year teaching Russian literature.Barker and her son settle in a house at the edge of the jungle where they quickly realize that they are not alone Along with many ants, the house is inhabi [...]

    2. Another so so travelogue by another author whose observations are rather standard Adele Barker is an American who moves to Sri Lanka in 2001 to teach literature She stays a couple years and then returns after the tsunami in 2004 Now, maybe I am jaded from having read too many travelogues, but her observations of Sri Lanka seem rather standard, and there s nothing special about her perspective Perhaps, if you haven t read travelogues of Sri Lanka, or like regions, you might find this book intere [...]

    3. I picked up the audio version of this book after returning from our recent holiday in Sri Lanka I had so many lingering thoughts about the country and I wanted to get another perspective before it all faded out of my memory.This is very different to Elephant Complex, a book that I started before we departed and had accompanied me on my journey Not Quite Paradise takes a much personal approach The book is narrated by the author who moved from Arizona, USA to Sri Lanka with her 15 year old son so [...]

    4. Not Quite Paradise is the memoir of Adele Barker s journeys in Sri Lanka, beginning in 2001, just three weeks after 9 11, and culminating in 2006 with a brief intermission in between the two She arrives with the intention of teaching literature at the University of Peradeniya, but is caught up in a war and way of life that she desperately tries to understand.I say this is a memoir of her journeys, but mostly it is a memoir of Sri Lanka Barker gives many details about the history of the island, p [...]

    5. Adele Barker and her teenage son Noah spent a year in Sri Lanka where Adele taught literature at the University of Peradeniya in Kandy In Not Quite Paradise, Adele discusses everything from the food and customs to the people she meets, and the civil war After the tsunami, Adele returns once again to Sri Lanka and describes the horrible devastation She also travels north to war torn Jaffna where she experiences the danger first hand Not Quite Paradise combines interesting details about daily life [...]

    6. Since I know so little about Sri Lanka, which I will be visiting next month, the book was useful in providing the impressions of an American in this land of conflicts Barker worked in Sri Lanka as a Russian literature instructor for several months shortly after September 11 She never explained why she did this, although you got the feeling it was an escape from something she didn t want to deal with She stayed exclusively in the south and central mountain areas, primarily Buddhist, and developed [...]

    7. This book started off rather well I liked the blend of history and travelogue as it traced her experiences in a new country and you also learned new information as she was told by the locals However, a few chapters in and you realize that this book has no real direction In fact the author s main motivation for sharing her life, as she mentions many times, is that she had planned to write a book while in Sri Lanka and now, dammit, she ll write that book So in the end, this blend of travel writing [...]

    8. Suzanne has covered the book fairly well in recent review I m just going to add my own feeling that Barker s initial background on the Tamil Sinhalese conflict, presented in a hybrid non fiction historical account, along with interviews, came across as rather dry for me and I m a big non fiction reader so much so that I flirted with giving up Things improve after she gets settled, establishes relationships with Lankans, and begins a routine as a college instructor Second half of the book concern [...]

    9. This is the usual fish out of water travel story from Western Europeans and Americans American goes to foreign country, expresses wonderment at the local customs, experiences massive amounts of white guilt, and engages in tons of navel gazing.So much potential, but ultimately a disappointment.

    10. I picked this up to get some insights into the damage the civil war and tsunami caused in Sri Lanka and got a little preview of the culture.

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