Sunday, 18 October 2015

Book Review: Beyond Myself

Anita Katherine Dennis:

Beyond Myself

Anita Katherine Dennis: Beyond Myself

What a saga! This amazing woman, young woman at the time, travels to Africa with her husband in a mixed marriage, in a time when there was much overt racism on this continent. I cannot tell you how, over my lifetime, things have changed for the better. Young people wouldn't understand what 1964 was like, as mixed marriages of all sorts are much more common in North America: mixing race, religion, culture and heritage, as well as same sex marriage. Racism, of course, exists in Canada, but it's much more covert –or it was until our recent election campaign.

My older cousins traveled to Lusaka, Zambia many years ago –perhaps in the 80s, I cannot remember. They went as United Church missionaries. The book provided much insight for me as I had questions I am unable to ask.

"At our last church service in Vahum, I gave away empty cans and glass containers I had saved. Patrick called the children's names, and as they went up to get one, I thought, What kind of farewell gift is that? What genuine sacrifice have I made for these people? Simply living here? What have I really given then? What long-term impact have I made?"
This is the Dennis' 1st book
It's an inspiring story, and she doesn't mince words, but nor does Dennis allow her negative experiences dominate the book. Racism makes my heart heavy. With our health issues we are trying to be positive, and this is how this book makes me feel. Despite civil war, and death and dying, it's a gripping autobiography. The world is changing and has changed and I do have hope.

Beyond Myself: The Farm Girl and the African Chief

When author Anita Katherine Dennis walked into the anthropology class during her sophomore year at Ohio University in 1964, she was sure the class would prove interesting. She had no idea how right she would be. In Beyond Myself, she narrates the love story that developed between her and her anthropology professor, Dr. Ben Dennis, an African tribal chief.

Anita Dennis took videos which was pretty ahead of her time, of her times in Africa. There are many photos in the book, as well.


Red said...

This sounds like a great book to read. I must look for it. I just finished Goldman's Secret Language of Doctors.

William Kendall said...

Good review, Jennifer!

Cloudia said...

Thanks for these reviews my dear Jenn <3