Some Far and Distant Place, by Jonathan S. Addleton (Universityof Georgia Press, 207 pp.; $29.95, hardcover);
Through Isaac's Eyes: Crossing of Cultures, Coming of Age, and the Bond Between Father and Son, by Daniel Barth Peters (Zondervan, 185 pp.;$10.99, paper). Reviewed by Alan Jacobs, associate professor of English at Wheaton College.
As debates over Eurocentrism and multiculturalism lose the attention of the popular press, and as even the most vocal participants in the controversy seem bored by their own arguments, a new note is being sounded for those with ears to hear. It may well be that most Americans are geographically and historically parochial (at best); it may be that we are, by and large, woefully ignorant of the cultures of the developing world. But one group of Americans has had lengthy and thorough experience in the parts of theworld neglected by our history books, and I don't mean members of the diplomatic service. These most multiculturally literate of Americans are Christian missionaries— and especially their children, the missionary kids(MKs).
A dawning awareness by publishers that these people have something to contribute to our national conversation about other cultures may be partially responsible for the appearance of these two memoirs. The subtitle of Daniel Barth Peters'sThrough Isaac's Eyes tells us that the book is about (among other things) the "crossing of cultures"; the blurb writer for the University of Georgia Press tells us that Jonathan S. Addleton's Some Far and Distant Place "describes an experience that will become increasingly more common as cultures that once seemed remote and distant are no longer confined within the bounds of a single nation-state." Strange to say, we could in ...1
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