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A Picador Paperback OriginalThe hero of Zakes Mda's beloved Ways of Dying Toloki sets down with a family in Middle America and uncovers the story of the runaway slaves who were their ancestorsToloki the professional mourner has come to live in America Lured to Athens Ohio by an academic at the local univ. I had not read of Ways of Dying or heard of Zakes Mda before reading the Essence article that featured Cion as the October 2007 book of the month Based on the article s synopsis I knew it was a book I wanted to read so I ordered it immediately in doing so I have no regrets what an insightful creative and often humorous read Cion follows the travels of Toloki a professional mourner which in itself is an unusual profession as he ventures to Southeastern Ohio Appalachian country It is in this rural impoverished setting and through Toloki s eyes that American pop culture politics and other isms such as racism colorism sexism etc are explored A Halloween prank gone bad leads Toloki to form an unusual friendship with a local rather eccentric family His host family is self described as WIN White Indian Negro and it is with them that the complexities of racial identity prejudice and stereotypes emerge Mda uses his creativity and playwriting skills to construct scenes that evoke crystal clear images and crafty dialoguearguments to cover aspects of African American history a wonderfully imagined Underground Railroad escape is presented as a sub plot and its far reaching impact on Americans today Toloki s observations and internal thoughtscommentaries are oftentimes laugh out loud funny and laced with truth and heartfelt honesty This book is definitely in my 2007 Top 10 list I have already ordered his earlier works and look forward to the reading experience

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Cion A Novel

Rom Virginia with nothing but their mother's uilts for a map the boys hope to find a promised land where blacks can live as free men Their story alternates with Toloki's as the two narratives cast a new light on America in the twenty first century and on an undiscovered legacy of the Underground Railroad. A Big Thumbs DownThis book Cion by Zakes Mda is very hard to read especially in the beginning It is a far fetched disconnected story that jumps all over the place To top it off the main character Toloki is a professional mourner It is full of vile sexual content and foul language The book recieved great praise by a few descendants who claim to have read it Did they not see the insult to their people be it true or not I do feel that Mr Mda captured the essence of the area Kilvert and some of the people as seen by outsiders The people no matter whether black brown white or some shade in between are all related Mr Mda s character Toloki doesn t understand this being a true Black man from South Africia He sees that the people are not all the same even tho they believe that they are and that they cling to a long ago legend that they don t really know much about other than the oral history they present He touches on the inner conflict prejudice and pretense amongst some of these people and in my opinion he is not totally wrong in that observation Some of the people say they are colored or black some are anything but black some are Indian Irish is a curse white is a bad word The solution to this iscall us WIN White Indian Negro The people Mr Mda came to befriend as he calls it and interview for his book gave him the impression of not knowing who they are I can understand that thru Mda s broader scope of vision in the world and mainstream societies It is true that they the people all have a different version of what their race issometimes even in the same family He also captures the attitude that some have about living in poverty blaming the outside world or the past and not taking responsibility for themselves At any rate Mr Mda can call it fiction but I could pick out many of the characters and stories he was writing aboutThose he interviewed were obviously trusting of him befriending him and praising him without even reading the book It is a very insulting book If you have people in the area or come from the area you would feel something in your heart no matter what your beliefs or understanding of the family history no matter your racial self identification I felt truly saddened and nauseated at the way this man used these people to make fun of all of them and their stories in his book I ll just add the book to my collection because it mentions so many of our places and people although with a very twisted and insulting version yes he calls it fiction but it is insulting whether he meant it to be or not Mr Mda does not treat the subject with any respect or sensitivity instead he seems to make fun of the history and the people of Kilvert The Washington Post saw it that way see below read the definitions Mda s character Toloki comes off as the Black intellect amongst the mixed up not so bright people of Kilvert As much as an insult this is to many of the people in the area and as sad and angry as it made me feel while reading the book unfortunately if the shoe fits they ll have to wear it This Washington Post Review says it like it is One of the most prolific black writers of post apartheid South Africa Zakes Mda has now cast his roaming wry wry means marked by or displaying contemptuous mockery of the motives or virtues of others cynic cynical ironic ironical sardonic and satirical satirical means contemptuous or ironic in manner or wit derisive jeering mocking sarcastic satiric scoffing sneering eye upon the United States in particular the rural southeastern Ohio community outside of Athens Ohio where incidentally Mda teaches at Ohio University I give it a big thumbs down coleccion-de-oro-jorge-el-curioso-a-treasury-of-curious-george-bilingual-edition-spanish-and-english-edition for a map the boys hope to Swimming find a promised land where blacks can live as lettrage-cr-eacute-atif-le-petit-manuel-de-la-calligraphie free men Their story alternates with Toloki's as the two narratives cast a new light on America in the twenty administration-guide-aeps-assessment-evalutaion-and-programming-system-vol-1 first century and on an undiscovered legacy of the Underground Railroad. A Big Thumbs DownThis book Cion by Zakes Mda is very hard to read especially in the beginning It is a the-gift-of-therapy-an-open-letter-to-a-new-generation-of-therapists-and-their-patients far the-plantpure-kitchen-130-mouthwatering-whole-food-recipes-and-tips-for-a-plant-based-life fetched disconnected story that jumps all over the place To top it off the main character Toloki is a professional mourner It is omd-the-simple-plant-based-program-to-save-your-health-save-your-waistline-and-save-the-planet full of vile sexual content and Shehzada Sheharyar foul language The book recieved great praise by a secrets-of-the-secret-place-keys-to-igniting-your-personal-time-with-god few descendants who claim to have read it Did they not see the insult to their people be it true or not I do barefoot-contessa-how-easy-is-that-fabulous-recipes-amp-easy-tips feel that Mr Mda captured the essence of the area Kilvert and some of the people as seen by outsiders The people no matter whether black brown white or some shade in between are all related Mr Mda s character Toloki doesn t understand this being a true Black man on-camera-flash-techniques-for-digital-wedding-and-portrait-photography from South Africia He sees that the people are not all the same even tho they believe that they are and that they cling to a long ago legend that they don t really know much about other than the oral history they present He touches on the inner conflict prejudice and pretense amongst some of these people and in my opinion he is not totally wrong in that observation Some of the people say they are colored or black some are anything but black some are Indian Irish is a curse white is a bad word The solution to this iscall us WIN White Indian Negro The people Mr Mda came to befriend as he calls it and interview Kelt for his book gave him the impression of not knowing who they are I can understand that thru Mda s broader scope of vision in the world and mainstream societies It is true that they the people all have a different version of what their race issometimes even in the same weighted-blankets-vests-and-scarves-simple-sewing-projects-to-comfort-and-calm-children-teens-and-adults family He also captures the attitude that some have about living in poverty blaming the outside world or the past and not taking responsibility seth-parle-l-eacute-ternelle-validit-eacute-de-l-acirc-me-tome-1 for themselves At any rate Mr Mda can call it sculpture-a-basic-handbook-for-students fiction but I could pick out many of the characters and stories he was writing aboutThose he interviewed were obviously trusting of him befriending him and praising him without even reading the book It is a very insulting book If you have people in the area or come Caines Law The Acts Of Caine 4 from the area you would paperback-oxford-english-dictionary feel something in your heart no matter what your beliefs or understanding of the from-the-source-spain-spain-s-most-authentic-recipes-from-the-people-that-know-them-best-lonely-planet family history no matter your racial self identification I founding-mothers-the-women-who-raised-our-nation felt truly saddened and nauseated at the way this man used these people to make homo-zapiens fun of all of them and their stories in his book I ll just add the book to my collection because it mentions so many of our places and people although with a very twisted and insulting version yes he calls it the-easy-hymn-fake-book-over-150-hymns-in-the-key-of-quot-c-quot fiction but it is insulting whether he meant it to be or not Mr Mda does not treat the subject with any respect or sensitivity instead he seems to make low-carb-healthy-fat fun of the history and the people of Kilvert The Washington Post saw it that way see below read the definitions Mda s character Toloki comes off as the Black intellect amongst the mixed up not so bright people of Kilvert As much as an insult this is to many of the people in the area and as sad and angry as it made me cognitive-behavioural-therapy-7-ways-to-freedom-from-anxiety-depression-and-intrusive-thoughts feel while reading the book unfortunately if the shoe tribes-and-politics-in-yemen-a-history-of-the-houthi-conflict-ebook-marieke-brandt-amazon-fr-amazon-media-eu-s--r-l fits they ll have to wear it This Washington Post Review says it like it is One of the most prolific black writers of post apartheid South Africa Zakes Mda has now cast his roaming wry wry means marked by or displaying contemptuous mockery of the motives or virtues of others cynic cynical ironic ironical sardonic and satirical satirical means contemptuous or ironic in manner or wit derisive jeering mocking sarcastic satiric scoffing sneering eye upon the United States in particular the rural southeastern Ohio community outside of Athens Ohio where incidentally Mda teaches at Ohio University I give it a big thumbs down

Zakes Mda ¾ 1 REVIEW

Ersity Toloki makes friends with an angry young man he meets at a Halloween parade and soon falls in love with the young man's sister Toloki endears himself to a local uilting group and his uilting provides a portal to the past a story of two escaped slaves seeking freedom in OhioMaking their way north f. It took me a little while to figure out what was going on in this book and many of the characters never developed in my imagination but I really liked it The author does a great job intervweaving a past story line with the present The past story is about slavery in the US south the current story is a professional mourner from South Africa who has come to the US to learn about mourning


10 thoughts on “Cion A Novel

  1. says:

    I had not read of Ways of Dying or heard of Zakes Mda before reading the Essence article that featured Cion as the October 2007 book of the mont

  2. says:

    I was befuddled initially but so glad I stuck with it If you are familiar with Athens County OH or Ohio University's Halloween bash you'll be interested in this

  3. says:

    When I reached page 100 I decided I liked this book 3 stars by page 200 I thought 4 stars Now I’ve finished it and it is definitely 5 stars It’s simply gorgeous subtle multilayered plot lovable infuriating ch

  4. says:

    I read this book for bookgroup; I had not read the first in the series I did not care for the book I found it meandering and not terribly interesting nor did I particularly like any of the characters in it

  5. says:

    It took me a little while to figure out what was going on in this book and many of the characters never developed in my imagination but I really liked it The author does a great job intervweaving a past story line with the present The past story is about slavery in the US south; the current story is a professional mourner from South Africa who has come to the US to learn about mourning

  6. says:

    Masterfully constructed Zakes Mda is a wordsmith this book both easy to read and captivating Its switching timelines are excellent and the issues it tackles are broad Highly recommend and the preuel is not necessary though I imagine just as fascinating

  7. says:

    A Big Thumbs DownThis book Cion by Zakes Mda is very hard to read especially in the beginning It is a far fetched disconnected story that jumps all over the place To top it off the main character Toloki is a professional mourner It is full of vile sexual content and foul language The book recieved great praise by a few descendants who claim to have read it Did they not see the insult to their people be it true or not? I do feel

  8. says:

    This is a wonderful book written by a South African now an American who lived through the apartheid in his count

  9. says:

    This book was definitely something else I really liked it but still don't uite know what to make of it It's well written an

  10. says:

    Oh my goodness I don't know what to say I loved it I guess although admitedly it was confusing It was very circular or maybe spiral y I love the story though and I love the dignity Mda gives to the undeniably ignorant Because people deserve respect first and foremost on the basis of being people We have to remember that

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