Beyond the Baobab

Beyond the Baobab front cover finalA small but mighty elegant chapbook of essays, BEYOND THE BAOBAB offers seemingly disconnected yet deeply related and portrayed observations by author Judith Krummeck, a newly minted American citizen. It is refreshing and yes, encouraging, to read work by someone who is actually proud of the United States, rather than the constant (sometimes justified) self-critical barrage that Americans tend to heap upon themselves.  Yet her observations are pithy and well-balanced.  For instance, in “That July Day” she describes her inaugural foray into the streets of Alexandria, Virginia as “Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa in reverse.”  Because of her unerring eye for detail for both of her home and adopted countries (Nambia, where she spent part of her growing-up years, is described as “exquisitely desolate”) she transports the reader into both worlds, providing a telling, intimate view of her life and its various contrasts. Each essay builds upon itself until the next to the last one, “Getting the News” in which she describes the many losses of family and friends that seemed to come all at once.  Because readers have come to know these people, this provides a powerful emotional punch. This is an excellent read.
Writer’s Digest –

The immigrant experience is one that has preoccupied the psyche of America from the settlements of early colonies in the 17th century to the debates about the Dream Act in our own century. Over time, the marvelous conglomeration of British, European, Asian, African, and Hispanic cultures have woven together to create the diverse patterns that make up this beguiling country.

In her collection of essays, broadcaster, writer, and immigrant Judith Krummeck explores the emotional complexities of becoming an American citizen – from learning which way to turn the light switch on to the ephemeral sense of belonging.

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Also available at The Ivy Bookshop

7 thoughts on “Beyond the Baobab

  1. We were just caught in Baltimore traffic on our way from Richmond to Philadelphia and we happened upon your program, which we have very much enjoyed. My husband, who grew up in England, and I were intrigued by your accent. My husband guessed correctly South Africa, which I just confirmed by googling WBJC classical. My husband just self-published a short memoir about the immigrant experience entitled Silver Linings. Regards, Cindy Jackson


    1. So glad to happen upon someone else with this complicated and thrilling immigrant experience.
      Thanks for the message.


      1. You have the voice and an edible accent that should grace the airwaves of your radio station on late Saturday nights: great fiction of the possible and impossible, dreams beyond our world firmly tied to our frailties and strengths by your voice. What do you think, does your station have the imagination to bring us to the comfort of the fireplace and great listening?


      2. I love your wonderful suggestion, Ray! Probably not likely on a radio station that prides itself of 100% classical music … but “the possible and impossible, dreams” for another radio station perhaps?


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