Archive - September 26, 2013

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Jackie Zollo Brooks publishes The Ravenala with Peace Corps Writers

Jackie Zollo Brooks publishes The Ravenala with Peace Corps Writers

Carl Jung, the great Swiss psychoanalyst, wrote that during our first forty years we journey outward to find our place in society and during the second forty we journey inward to contemplate our inner world where we can discover the genuine self. The novel, The Ravenala by Jackie Zollo Brooks (Madagascar 1997–99) is driven by characters who must leave behind some of those they love in order to go on this quest. The title is taken from the ravenala palm, the so-called “travelers’ tree” found only in Madagascar. A traveler cutting into the palm’s branches can receive a refreshing drink of cool water; one who is lost can follow the ravenala’s alignment, always on an east/west axis. The travelers’ tree becomes a metaphor for the novel, suggesting that traveling refreshes us, often setting us off in a new direction Among modern male writers, J.M. Coetzee, John Updike, and Philip Roth . . .

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