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All around me, dog-eared books on South African history, discarded fast-food wrappers, and dirty clothes littered my closet-size room at the newly built Stratford Inn, a single room occupancy hotel near downtown Atlanta. As I frantically searched for a photograph, the usual assortment of crackheads and alcoholics argued down the hallway. The acrid smells of cigarette smoke and rancid bacon grease mixed with the howls of manic laughter now threatening to erupt into physical violence. Just another day in paradise, I brooded, while flinging the contents of a worn duffel bag all over the floor.

As the commotion from the derelicts surged and finally subsided, I found the grainy black-and-white snapshot. It was tucked in a box containing the detritus of my life: old newspapers, copies of passport applications, my diploma from the University of Georgia.

Three little girls, dressed identically in gray dresses and black patent-leather shoes, stared into the camera at Crown Studios in Durban, South Africa, in , the year I was born. Only hours earlier, my mother had confirmed what I had suspected but had not been able to establish for many years: these three smiling children were my sisters.

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Twilight People: One Man's Journey to Find His Roots

No cover image. Read preview. Synopsis David Houze was twenty-six and living in a single room occupancy hotel in Atlanta when he discovered that three little girls in an old photo he'd seen years earlier were actually his sisters.


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The girls had been left behind in South Africa when Houze and his mother fled the country in , at the height of apartheid, to start a new life in Meridian, Mississippi, with Houze's American father. This revelation triggers a journey of self-discovery and reconnection that ranges from the shores of South Africa to the dirt roads of Mississippi--and back. Gripping, vivid, and poignant, this deeply personal narrative uses the unraveling mystery of Houze's family and his quest for identity as a prism through which to view the tumultuous events of the civil rights movement in Mississippi and the rise and fall of apartheid in South Africa.

Twilight People is a stirring memoir that grapples with issues of family, love, abandonment, and ultimately, forgiveness and reconciliation.


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Unfortunately, it seemed the author would retreat whenever he got I wanted to like this book more than I did. Unfortunately, it seemed the author would retreat whenever he got too close to that pain. I get the impression that's what he did in real life with his sisters when he was there, and it made him come across as insensitive.

Twilight people : one man's journey to find his roots

Their reunion was strained. He does that in his writing as well. Whenever he got too close to the real issues in his family, he would retreat into academics. He would touch on his family's struggles, then pull back and go on for pages and pages about South Africa's history. This could have been an interesting political history of South Africa. This could have been an interesting personal history of his family.

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Unfortunately, he didn't blend the two well, and it ended up not being powerful in either respect. Perhaps this was the only way he could write the book, given where he is personally in his life right now. Still, it captured my attention and I did learn a lot. Sep 28, Janaia rated it liked it.

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It wasn't that it was bad, I think I just took the author's choices personally. The story is about the author's family left behind in south africa and how he reconnects with them. But the choices he and his mother make are selfish.

Twilight People: One Man's Journey To Find His Roots - David Houze - Google книги

There is also some historical information that he offers. It's told like a story and flows pretty well. Give it a read and tell me what you think Jul 30, Tuck rated it it was ok. Meridian Mississippi in Claudia Black rated it it was ok Mar 02, Laura rated it really liked it Sep 29, Robert Wallace rated it really liked it Mar 16, Maureen rated it liked it Aug 13, Angie rated it it was ok Feb 15, Etta rated it liked it Aug 16, Lynne added it Jan 18, Andrea marked it as to-read Dec 02, Nathan marked it as to-read Nov 14, Lori marked it as to-read Jul 06, Adrienne added it Jan 20, Zachary Steele added it Jun 29, Sarah added it Jan 17, Nevaeh Covell marked it as to-read Feb 18, BookDB marked it as to-read Sep 18, Lauren M marked it as to-read Jan 01, Sean marked it as to-read Nov 21, Teresa Oliver marked it as to-read Jan 06, Weckea marked it as to-read Jul 05, Nannette White marked it as to-read Jul 24, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

About David Houze. David Houze. Trivia About Twilight People