Visitations: Conversations with the Ghost of the Chairman By Dr Francis Mading Deng



I read Visitations: Conversations with the Ghost of the Chairman with great ambivalence. On the one hand I turned each page with eager anticipation of what these two great souls, one dead and one alive, would reveal next about one of the great revolutionary struggles of our time. And yet, on the other hand, I knew that this heroic struggle waged, in their own way, by the scholar diplomat, Francis Mading Deng and the liberation leader, John Garang de Mabior has ended tragically with more ghosts of a once hopeful people. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in knowing how the hopes of one generation can so tragically and so quickly turn to the hopelessness of another generation]’ -Vasu Gounden, Executive Director, African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) ‘Writing literary form gets to be whatever you want it to be. I appreciate that you told the story in this way as I think it is a heck of a lot more interesting than reading a straight memoir on the topic. Also, I very much like the Chairman. He is direct and matter-of-fact, and incredibly wise. There are definitely two voices here and both are interesting and contribute much to the story. I find this fiction/nonfiction blend a clever approach to writing a memoir.’-Michelle Poff, PhD, Communication Scientist ‘Artful, delightful, and fascinating storytelling with the seriousness of lifelong purpose, Dr Francis Deng has written an arresting account of South Sudan’s struggle for independence. This book turns a global diplomat into a passionate master narrator of complex history, broad concepts, long term vision, and personal experience. Deng, a former Under-Secretary General and Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide and now a peacemaker, has effectively employed the art of storytelling to convey messages of nation building and peace-making to his people and beyond. I have read countless narratives but this stands out as the easiest for many Africans to relate to.’ -Dr Mehari Taddele Maru ‘South Sudan’s most prominent intellectual Francis Deng has written a rich, innovative, and fascinating meditation on his new country’s continuing challenges based on a highly original form of dialogue he has with the ghost of South Sudan’s martyred ‘Founding Father’ John Garang in this fascinating novel of ideas.’ -Professor Adekeye Adebajo, Director, Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversation, University of Johannesburg.


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