Blood Latitudes, the latest novel by William Harrison ’55, tells a personal tale.
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Two latitudes run through Blood Latitudes, the latest novel by William Harrison ’55. The first is Africa, the fifth time Harrison has focused on the dark continent.
Though the author lives in Fayetteville, Ark., he and his family have spent long periods in Kenya and South Africa. In his latest work, Harrison paints a primal picture of the land, shaped like a lopsided skull. … If you pricked your finger tending your roses in an African garden, possible infection and catastrophe await you. If your rented Jeep broke down on some back road of the savannah, you became the slowest creature afoot on the landscape.
The second latitude is less geographic, yet just as wild. The subconscious is the thing inside you that you can’t really know. … If you turn your eyes toward it and give it your attention, then it disappears. But whatever it is, it’s your fate. It is the thing inside you toward which you are going.
Combined, the two lines weave an expertly written tale of personal journey. Will Hobbs is a retired journalist living in England. His son Buck follows in his footsteps, though writing may be the only thing the two agree on.
Against Will’s wishes, Buck leaves for the Africa his father covered, though this time during a vicious civil war. He leaves behind his beautiful wife, Key, and their son, Willie.
Early on, it is clear that Key and Will have a shared passion that neither intended, yet neither knows what to do with. To complicate matters, Buck soon turns up missing. Without giving away too much from this expertly written tale, Will’s search for his son takes readers into the politics and primal nature of Africa but also into the heart of a man split by what he should do and what his heart wants to do.
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