By: Kuir ë Garang
Publisher: The Nile Press, Calgary, Canada
Publication Date: August 2012
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: July 30, 2013
Kuir ë Garang serves up a bounty of fluid language and prolific insights as he immediately entices his readership into his compelling story of The Pipers and the First Phase.
Little Michael, Christopher Fox and Isaac Burns have no idea their paths are destined to cross in Panda, Africa; a third world space in time located near the Northwestern coast of the African continent. While their respective journeys may be unique, the common element provides each man tangible wisdom and knowledge in the end. However, nothing short of a convoluted weave of corrupt and politically charged African experience is imposed upon each man as the story migrates toward the end destination that has been paved.
The reader is further introduced to Little Michael when he is a young man. He is conflicted by what his Pandian roots mean and questions the worthiness of his heritage. He reflects upon his teen years and the course of destruction he could have accepted as his life—selling drugs for one. After a few scuttles with the wrong side of the law, Little manages to make a life for himself. He is a bar/restaurant owner and is learning how to accept the benefits of profits from running a steady and legitimate business. Christopher Fox is no stranger to Little. They are childhood friends and while their young adult lives delivered them on opposite roads, the roles have been reversed. It is now Chris’ turn to seek help from his African friend Little Michael. Racially charged hate and the color of one’s skin was a common wedge the two faced growing up together. Little’s skin was the darkest of ebony in contrast to Chris’ lily whiteness. They were friends and color of skin was a non-issue. Chris grew up to become a notably honest and devoted police officer. Sadly, his career came to an abrupt halt after the failed transport of a coveted M16 collector’s piece to a politically connected dignitary.
It is at a moment when Isaac Burns; notable philanthropist and strategic capitalist, enters Chris’ world that hope is possibly resurrected in his universe. Motivated to distance the space between his own imminent abject poverty, Chris gratefully accepts the offer of employment with Mr. Burns. What none of the three men know as their destinies align, is each one is being watched closely by a powerful group—a group committed to the cause for a stronger and more liberated Africa. Who are the Pipers beyond the definition of "...a group of Pan-Africanist minded individuals, who have taken it upon themselves to 'rid' the world of capitalism..." and how will each man's life be changed forever in The Pipers First Phase?
It is no surprise Kuir ë Garang's credentials include the fact that he is a South Sudanese poet. Poetic cadence comes alive across many pages in The Pipers and the First Phase. He has painted heart-wrenching scenery of the aftermath of rebel destruction in South Sudan as equally as he glorifies the description of the magnificent Nile river with a mere few words: "...Yes, that's the great Nile. Envied for complete control by everyone..." His character descriptions are rich and full-bodied whether they hold center stage or a minor supporting role. The Pipers and the First Phase contains controversial subject matter - be it the nuance toward multiple corrupt entities wanting their piece of the African pie or simply the question of: Is the philanthropist truly doing the work for the people (or not)? I applaud Mr. Garang for writing this story in spite of such notions. He has written it with great heart and soul and demonstrates amazing patience in allowing the entire body of work to unfold in a manner that will surely leave the reader with a desire to reflect positively on the final outcome.
Quill says: The Pipers and the First Phase is an intricate body of work that leaves the reader with a hunger for the "next" phase.
For more information on The Pipers and the First Phase (Volume 1), please visit the website: www.kuirthiy.com