OTSEGO, MN, SEPTEMBER 13— Liberian immigrant, long time college instructor, community activist and writing aficionado, Momoh Sekou Dudu will debut his memoir “Harrowing December: Recounting a Journey of Sorrows & Triumphs” late this year. The book—being published by Outskirts Press out of Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.—is tentatively scheduled to hit bookstands on November 30, 2014.
Born in a remote village in the foothills of the Wologisi Mountains deep in the hinterland of the small African nation of Liberia, Momoh Dudu’s destiny was virtually ordained: he’d become a traditional chief and a subsistence farmer in the footsteps of his father. When his paternal uncle, Loseni, visited from Monrovia, the country’s capital city in early 1975, however, Momoh’s life veered in a totally different direction.
A mundane conversation between uncle and nephew on a short trip from the village’s riverbank demonstrated Momoh’s inquiring mind and potential to excel in school. Impressed, Uncle Loseni took him along to the city where Momoh flourished.
When he was forced to abandon his university studies in 1989 due to a brutal civil war, Momoh fled Liberia, on foot, first to the Republic of Sierra Leone and later to the French-speaking nation of Guinea-Conakry. In exile, Momoh, like most refugees, struggled with extreme nostalgia and a biting sense of loss.
Harrowing December, written with refreshing candor, is the enthralling and poignant chronicle of that nearly one decade odyssey of adversity and perseverance, of heartbreaks and joys, of profound sorrows and gratifying triumphs. Momoh’s moving account of the grave atrocities committed by all parties to the long-running Liberian civil war, the hardships he and his family endured in exile, and his improbable journey to America, makes for a captivating read. This is a story that is sure to make you reflect and cry and laugh all in the same breath.
Sample passage from the opening chapter in the upcoming memoir
“The farm hut sat in the bend of the road, right at the point where the plains began their ascent into the steep elevation that was the bulk of the plantation. Viewed from any distance beyond a yard, the farm hut looked almost as if it were locked in a tight embrace with the base of the plantation. The smell inside was slightly acidic. The women had recently plastered its floors and inner walls using aged cow manure mixed in wet clay. For reasons that may have been related to this mildly rotten-carcass-like smell, the farm hut was a magnet for mice. ”