Read The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood. by Helene Cooper Free Online
Book Title: The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood.|
The author of the book: Helene Cooper
ISBN 13: 9781607516392
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 2898 times
Reader ratings: 6.6
The size of the: 33.26 MB
City - Country: No data
Edition: Simon & Schuster
Date of issue: January 1st 2008
Read full description of the books:
This book is soft, tentative and predictable. It is 85% Helene Cooper and 15% Liberia. Though Cooper is a reputable journalist, this is her memoir; it lingers on her girlish crushes, her favorite dresses and the troubled marriage of her aristocratic parents. The second part is an unexceptional account of Cooper's semi-assimilation into American culture, starting midway through her high school years and tracing her deliberate mission to become an influential foreign correspondent. Throughout this book, her training as a journalist shows; everything is seen from a distance and presented with efficiency in a context made historical with a few statistics and anecdotes.
Owing to Cooper's immensely privileged upbringing and her early departure form Liberia, it seems that she didn't have that much raw material to work with when trying to conjure up the realities of her motherland. Her note at the end makes it sound like she would not have shared one single sensory impression of the country if her supportive family and friends hadn't peppered the narrative with their own remembrances. Ultimately, Helene is too humorless, earnest and insecure for my tastes and while she was,in one sense, the ultimate insider, she was also extremely far removed from the pulse of her country.
She rightly faults herself for "papering over seismic moment(s) in (her) life by focusing on the superficial." That tendency shows throughout the narrative. It would have been much stronger if Cooper had brought other voices into her story, if she had inhabited the perspective of anyone else in her age group or generation in order to introduce her readers to a more complex portrait of her country. Her perspective is tiring.
I expected her to fill the niche of "Liberian Memoirist" and she didn't. This is an adequate autobiography with a bit of hand-wringing about how the author didn't become as aware of Liberia as she could have and didn't invest as much of herself in bettering her country as she could have.
If you still read this book, know that you will be presented with a number of executions and rapes that may prove disturbing. Cooper treats them in the lightest and most sanitized way; but the reader does not escape them entirely.
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Read information about the authorHelene Cooper is a Liberian-born American journalist who is a White House correspondent for the New York Times. Previous to that, she was the diplomatic correspondent for the paper based in Washington, D.C.. She joined the Times in 2004 as assistant editorial page editor.
At The Wall Street Journal, Cooper wrote about trade, politics, race and foreign policy at the Washington and Atlanta bureaus from 1992 to 1997. From 1997 to 1999, she reported on the European Monetary Union from the London bureau. From 1999 to 2002, she was a reporter focusing on international economics; then assistant Washington bureau chief from 2002 to 2004.
In 2008, she published a memoir titled The House at Sugar Beach (Simon & Shuster). The memoir largely concerns the Liberian coup of 1980 and its effect on Cooper's family, socially and politically-elite descendants of American freed slaves who colonized the country in the 19th century.