LeeAnn Heringer's Reviews > A Bend in the River

A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul
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Sep 12, 11

bookshelves: africa, kindle-ebooks, 21st-century, read-in-2011, nobel-prize-winners, modern-library-100-best
Read from August 27 to September 03, 2011

When I was headed for Africa for the first time, I read books like "The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence" to understand the effects of modernization and independence on the continent, the rise and (sometimes) fall of the big man. V.S. Naipaul has taken all that history and distilled it into a very intimate and personal story, a ground eye view of the troubles. It is a beautifully written story embeds you in the landscape taken from the view point of a protagonist who has lived his life in Africa, yet is an outsider. It constantly surprised me with its truth to itself and its characters.
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Timothy Smith Hello LeeAnn Heringer,
A Bend in the River has always been one of my favorite books and I see that you gave it a high rating as well. It’s a book that I often thought about as I wrote my own novel, Cooper’s Promise, which I think you might enjoy.

Also set in Africa, Cooper’s Promise plays out against the background of the continent’s chronic civil wars as opposed to Naipaul’s post-independence chaos. It’s a more contemporary book and touches on topics of human trafficking and blood diamonds. My writing is sparer than Naipaul’s but I aim for the same rich visual texture and sense of place—which is one of the things that stands out for me in A Bend in the River.

Cooper's Promise tells the story of a soldier who vows to save a young girl who's been trafficked in order to redeem himself for another promise he couldn’t keep. It's exciting, fast-paced, and literary at the same time. It was twice shortlisted for the prestigious Faulkner-Wisdom Competition, and the screenplay adaptation has won five grand prizes and first places in addition to distinctions for Best Original Drama and Best Male Lead.

Here’s a link to the Nook version: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/coope...

Here’s a link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1462084087/r...

You will find a synopsis on either site.

Thanks, and keep on reading -- it gives us writers hope.


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