Where Bones Dance: An English Girlhood, An African War

Hardcover | February 12, 2007

byNina Newington

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     In this stunning debut novel, a child dissects the darkness at the heart of her British diplomatic family. Living in Nigeria on the brink of civil war, Anna—also known as Jake—becomes blood brothers with Dave, the Korean American daughter of a C.I.A. operative. They do push-ups, collect pornography, and plot lives of unmarried freedom while around them a country disintegrates. Luscious, terrifying, and raw, Nigeria itself becomes a lesson in endurance, suffering, love. 
     Stories are layered upon stories: Anna's grandmother tells stories about life as a white woman on the Gold Coast; the clairvoyant and closeted "Aunt" Elsie gives Anna a story of transformation to hold onto in the coming tumult of adolescence. Yet Where Bones Dance also spirals down to the stories that are not told—sexual abuse, the myth of benign colonialism, the chaos of postcolonial Africa. Sensual and fantastical by turns, this moving, funny, immensely readable book delivers an understanding of the interplay of sexuality, gender, race, and war that is sophisticated beyond the years of its intrepid narrator.
 
Winner, Georges Bugnet Award for Novel, Alberta Literary Awards, Writers Guild of Alberta

Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians and the Public Library Association

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From the Publisher

     In this stunning debut novel, a child dissects the darkness at the heart of her British diplomatic family. Living in Nigeria on the brink of civil war, Anna—also known as Jake—becomes blood brothers with Dave, the Korean American daughter of a C.I.A. operative. They do push-ups, collect pornography, and plot lives of unmarried fre...

Nina Newington was born in Hong Kong and as a child lived in Germany, Israel, Nigeria, and Britain. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies, including Sinister Wisdom, Resurgent: New Writings by Women,and The American Voice. She lives in the hills of western Massachusetts.

other books by Nina Newington

Where Bones Dance: An English Girlhood, An African War
Where Bones Dance: An English Girlhood, An African War

Kobo ebook|Apr 1 2007

$10.09 online$13.11list price(save 23%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:318 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:February 12, 2007Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299222608

ISBN - 13:9780299222604

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Read from the Book

“I wish Dad would come home. I send him a thought in the air. To Biafra. He's flying in a plane with Prince Richard. It is dark except for the green light of the instrument panel. They are sitting close together in the little airplane. Prince Richard is steering. It is too dark to see except when a gun fires and then the ground is covered in dead bodies and the animals are taking legs and arms away in the bush to eat and the animals’ eyes are green and shining.”—excerpt from Where Bones Dance 

Editorial Reviews

"Nina Newington's Where Bones Dance is as fresh with the sounds and sights of Africa through a child's eyes as the opening of a Moonflower in a magic interval while ‘a fly on my knee cleans its head with its arms.’"—Kate Millett, author of Sexual Politics