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Albert Russo

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Member Since: Jun, 2006

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Books
· The Quatuor of African Novels in a single ebook

· Zapinette Baguette and Tagliatelle

· Eur-African Exiles

· Leodine of the Belgian Congo

· Adopted by an American Homosexual in the Belgian Congo

· Princes and Gods

· I-sraeli Syndrome

· Rome, my sibling, my empress

· Ode to Mamica mia, Mother beloved

· Mother beloved, Mamica mia


Short Stories
· The age of the pearl

· Lebensborn

· New York Bonus

· The spell of Mayaland

· Fast food Lisette

· Souk Secrets

· Spirit of Tar


Articles
· The writer as a chameleon - bilingualism in three continents

· Crisis and creativity in the new literatures in English


Poetry
· To my fellow poets

· Pixel power, from his book, CWS2

· Lost identity

· Emotionally trashed

· Remembrance of a corrected past

· The little things that add up in life

· Cormorant of Yangshuo, from his book Futureyes

· Call of the Falasha, from his book Futureyes

· Now, then and forever, from his book CWS2

· Choo-choo boy, from his book CWS2 (The Crowded World of Solitude, volume2)

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· Life Achievement Award for Literature

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Boundaries of Exile / Conditions of Hope
by Albert Russo  Albert Russo & Martin Tucker 


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Books by Albert Russo     View all 67
· The Quatuor of African Novels in a single ebook
· Adopted by an American Homosexual in the Belgian Congo
· Princes and Gods


Category: 

Literary Fiction

Publisher:  Confrontation Press ISBN-10:  9780913057568 Type:  Fiction
Pages: 

155

Copyright:  October 2009 ISBN-13:  9780913057568


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Boundaries of Exile / Conditions of Hope

BOUNDARIES OF EXILE/ Conditions of Hope
by Albert Russo and Martin Tucker

A primer on exile†through stories, poems, and essays

A personal and passionate search for definitions of identity from two writers who have witnessed the crimes of exile and recorded the triumphs of survival beyond such adversities. Russo and Tucker explore the struggles, both humorous and tragic, that determine and reveal human character through the experiences of exile. In this book the authors migrate from Greece to Central Africa, from Italy to the United States and beyond.

BOUNDARIES OF EXILE/ Conditions of Hope

by Albert Russo and Martin Tucker

 

A primer on exile through stories, poems, and essays

 

A personal and passionate search for definitions of identity from two writers who have witnessed the crimes of exile and recorded the triumphs of survival beyond such adversities. Russo and Tucker explore the struggles, both humorous and tragic, that determine and reveal human character through the experiences of exile.  In this book the authors migrate from Greece to Central Africa, from Italy to the United States and beyond.


 




Excerpt

1) from Albert Russo's memoir "Sandro & Gloria":

We arrived in Kigoma, Belgian Congo, on December 2, 1926, and on the same day we boarded a small ship which brought us across Lake Tanganyika, to the town of Albertville, our first leg in the Belgian Congo.

What a surprise to meet there Beno, one of my childhood friends! We were so happy to be together that he put the two of us up in his tiny hut-like abode for several days. At last we had what resembled a bed, a real mattress, with proper sheets and pillowcases, and we ate fresh vegetables, grilled chicken and tropical fruits, such as mangoes, pomegranates, avocadoes and papaya, which we had never tasted before, and yet relished to the last morsel. At first I found mangoes to be somewhat bland, though they were quite juicy, the papaya, we ate with a zest of lemon and, contrary to the European habit of having avocadoes as an appetizer, we took it for the desert, with a sprinkle of cane sugar. Then there were the small but oh so sweet bananas, called here langue de chat (catís tongue). What luxury, since back home only the very rich could afford some of these exotic fruits!
To us boys, coming from the impoverished island of Rhodes, where, this must be stressed, we never lacked good home-made food, with fresh vegetables and seasoned fruit - actually, I longed for my motherís delicious Jewish-Turkish dishes -, it all seemed as if we were living a fairy tale, full of new sounds and potent smells. Some of them were terrifying, especially at night, we even asked our host if a lion or some hungry crocodile might come and eat us while we were asleep. He laughed his head off, yet kept us wondering. And how delighted we were the next morning at cockís crow, seeing that we were still alive and in relative good health, although both of us had lost a lot of weight, for, during the long boat trip from Port Said to Dar es Salaam, and the train journey that brought us to the village preceding Kigoma, where the Greek hotelier agreed to take us on for a few days, we subsisted on canned food, dried dates and stale bread.
Beno accompanied us to the station in Albertville, and we boarded a train for Kabalo, which had only wooden planks for seats. Steam locomotives in those days were extremely slow and often broke down, but we did arrive the following day at Kabalo, where we embarked onto the Prince Lťopold, which sailed us down the Lualaba river. This too was a unique experience, that lasted a little less than a week. The boat had to stop quite often for refuelling - its boilers functioned with wood coal - which allowed our captain and other amateur hunters to use their skills and bring us back some game; this is how I got my first taste of antelope, wild pheasant and warthog meat.
The boat also served as a floating market for the villagers ashore. Hardware and clothes were sold in exchange for fresh fish, fowl, vegetables and fruit. More than once did the boat get stuck, because of large banks of papyrus. Hours of work and dozens of African hands were needed to remove them.
That river crossing remains one of the most spectacular adventures I experienced in the heartland of the Congo. Bukama was the terminal point.

My new boss, Mr. Robert Toledano, came to receive me on the quay. We barely got acquainted and two hours later I jumped on the train headed for Kamina, in northern Katanga, which was to be my final destination.


2) Three poems by Martin Tucker:

"A Travelerís Exile"

The heavy news came airily in an email format:
He will be confined to a wheel chair for life
And in time go blind.
Itís a rare disease though common enough to him now,
Who once strode through Eastern Europe and Western Africa
And up the steppes of the Caucusus.
A handsome boy he chose to prove manhood by terrain
And hid his glamour in coarse cloth,
Though even then his smile undressed
Addresses on envelopes of sealed desire.

A blanket on still legs,
A hand to lead him through a garden
Whose flowers he will no longer see,
And yet he may hear a birdís wing
Or touch a look coming his way,
His visitors accepting the fall of seasons,
And he finding an odor of life in winterís disease.



"Why I Teach the Holocaust"


I teach the Holocaust to touch my skin.
I have many skins.
I am far from the core of an onion.

I teach the Holocaust
To wear beneath my skin
An awareness of skin
Beyond my casual wear.

I teach the Holocaust
To remember
No peel of skin disappears.



"Writing a Holocaust Poem"


I think of those I have not known,
Who had no choice and little consequent frustration,
Only attrition in the knot of their situation,
And losing their lives in a way-station.

And those who survived, what must they have thought?
Was it habit, an apparel of conviction worn
When other clothes of distinction were denied?

Sometimes I see myself in their clothes,
And wonder if I would have the wish to survive.
Iíd go step by step in the uniform habit
Maybe believing in the work ethic advertised:
Work will make you free. Dig deep for a learning of the hands.

Did tired intellectuals think this way,
When the manual of their labor moved them to a new class,
Wearied beyond thought to lay their heads to sleep
And wake to a circle of humiliation?

By which day did distinctions disappear,
When thoughts became simply a desire to stay alive?
Was memory killed
In the yearning to survive?

Mostly I wonder
Did they talk at all?



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Books by
Albert Russo



The Quatuor of African Novels in a single ebook

Barnes & Noble, more..




Adopted by an American Homosexual in the Belgian Congo

Buy Options
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..




Princes and Gods

Buy Options
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..




Leodine of the Belgian Congo

Buy Options
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..




Eur-African Exiles

Buy Options
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..




Zapinette Baguette and Tagliatelle

Buy Options
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..




I-sraeli Syndrome

Barnes & Noble, more..



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