A few weeks ago Jerry Mills wrote me that he had been working on a semi-autobiographical novel about his experience in Sierra Leone. He was halfway through, he said, and wondered if I would be interested in posting it in installments on the blog. I was excited at the prospect, and figured that the process might also help Jerry push through to finish the novel. When I checked online, it appeared that there was no limit to how long a “page” on a blog can be, so I’ve created a new page on the blog for his work, which is titled My Heart Is Like a Cabbage.
Jerry and his wife have retreated to the mountains to escape the heat, but he assures me that he can find a way to keep episodes coming every couple of weeks. I’ll alert you as new installments arrive. Here are the first few paragraphs of his opening “To the Reader” section. To continue reading, click on the "My Heart Is Like a Cabbage" link under “Pages” to the right. - Tony
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My Heart Is Like a Cabbage is an autobiographical fiction of the two years I spent in West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer, a teacher of English and Science at Peninsula Secondary School in Waterloo, Sierra Leone.
I first tried to write a novel about this experience while a graduate student at Southern Illinois University during the spring of 1969. Unhappy with the result, I put the manuscript in a box where it remained for nearly 40 years, unread but omnipresent at the edge of consciousness, like a floater in the eye, part of the baggage that I carted to my current home in Arizona, part of the shards of an experience I could never satisfactorily exhume from memory. - Jerry Mills