Walking to Africa
On an ordinary day, in ordinary New Zealand, an ordinary girl becomes extraordinary. Told through her mothers eyes, Walking to Africa follows the girls journey through the strange, new and sometimes frightening world of mental health care. We meet specialists A through F, other kids, friends who want to help, an angel/nurse and the Ghostman alongside therapies and cures, strategies and rites. Walking to Africa is a fluid and unusual narrative collection of poetry that portrays a parents experience of coming to terms with the new and frightening world of mental health care. Jessica Le Bas wrote the collection to find a place of reconciliation, a harbour from the waywardness of life. By the end of the book she ushers in understanding: mental illness may have no definitive solutions but there are ways of living with it. Walking to Africa is without doubt the most moving collection of poems to appear in New Zealand for many years.
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