History is the sum total of individual lives lived. Or is it that an individual life is the culmination of the history that came before it? In Rebecca Haile's memoir, Held at a Distance, both are true. The Ethiopian-born, Minnesota-raised writer returns to Ethiopia 25 years after she fled her homeland with her family in the wake of the coup that overthrew Haile Selassie, plunged the country into de facto military rule, and left her father paralyzed from the waist down after a bullet tore through his torso. On her return to Ethiopia, Haile searches for a sense of home, explores the history of her country of birth, and often ventures down the slippery slope of identity. She is a sure and constant tour guide through these complicated landscapes.
Wed., Oct. 10, 7 p.m., 2007
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