Peter Chilson’s fiction debut delivers a fascinating, heart-wrenching view of modern African culture, filtered through the lens of the West. In a novella and four short stories, Chilson, who traveled to Africa first as a Peace Corps volunteer and later as a freelance journalist, uses a phrase borrowed from biology to point out how our “disturbance-loving species” thrives in the most chaotic, seemingly unlivable situations. As this remarkable collection explores the experiences of Americans struggling to cope with the political and social upheaval of life in Africa and of Africans acclimating to life in the United States, Chilson captures in vivid detail the strange, exhilarating frisson between cultures.
About the Author
PETER CHILSON is the winner of the 2006 Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize for fiction, selected by Lan Samantha Chang and awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College, for Disturbance-Loving Species. His previous travelogue, Riding the Demon: On the Road in West Africa, won the Associated Writing Programs Award for creative nonfiction. Chilson teaches creative writing at Washington State University and lives in Moscow, Idaho.