ISBN 9781942876489
Pages 250
Dimensions 229 x 152mm
Published 2019
Publisher Spears Media Press, Cameroon
Format Paperback

Letter from America

Memoir of an Adopted Child

by Gil Ndi-Shang

Inspired by Alistair Cooke’s masterpiece “Letter from America” (1934-2004) that depicted the transformation of British culture in the United States of America, Ndi-Shang’s text redefines ‘America’, focusing on the melting pot engendered by African, indigenous, European and Asian cultures in Latin America through the case of Peru, the erstwhile epicentre of Spanish empire in Latin America. It is a reflection on the triangular relationship between Africa, Europe and America against the backdrop of slavery and (neo-)colonialism which continue to define intimate experiences, daily interactions, personal trajectories and human relations in a ‘globalized world’. Ndi-Shang probes into the legacies of racial inequalities but also the possibilities of a new ethic of encounter amongst human beings/cultures. The text is based on an intricate interweaving of the humorous with the tragic, the personal with the global, the historical with the current and the real with the creative.

Book Preview


"Ndi-Shang writes in great prose, with a strong poetic tonality."

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, University of California, Irvine, USA

"Ndi-Shang's travelogue rewrites the genre; his transformative prose and analytical precision invest America with conceptual novelty and with fresh geographical complexity. The work's decolonial reverberations will endure for a long time."

Cajetan Iheka, Yale University, USA. Author of Naturalizing Africa

"I have read the whole text and enjoyed every bit of it. I followed you as you sojourned devotedly across the various American landscapes. When you turned, I turned…reflective, analytical, synthetical!"

Simon Nganga, Moi University, Kenya

"A thrilling memoir which taps from and delves into history, literature, anthropology, sociology and psychology. It (re)connects people, souls, minds, cultures, and histories across fissures of time, memory, space, water, and generations."

Nsah Mala, Aarhus University, Denmark

About the Author

Gil Ndi-Shang

Gil Ndi-Shang (Romance Literatures/Comparative Studies, University of Bayreuth) holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS). He is a member of the Young Colleague Programme, Bavarian Academy of Sciences (Munich-Germany). In the recent past, he has been Research Fellow with the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for his literary research in Congo, Peru and Colombia. He hails from the North-West region of Cameroon where he grew up before moving to Yaoundé and Bayreuth (Germany) for his university education. He is the author of State/society: Narrating Transformations in African Novels and co-editor of Tracks and Traces of Violence and Re-writing Pasts, Imagining Futures. He is also a contributing co-editor of the poetry volume Emerging Voices: Anthology of Young Anglophone Cameroon Poets.