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The House at Sugar Beach In Search of a Lost African

Journalist Helene Cooper examines the violent past of her home country Liberia and the effects of its 1980 military coup in this deeply personal memoir and finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle AwardHelene Cooper is Congo a descendant of two Liberian dynastiestraced back to the first ship of freemen that set sail from New York in 1820 to found Monrovia Helene grew up at Sugar Beach a twenty two room mansion by the sea Her childhood was filled with servants flashy cars a villa in Spain and a farmhouse up country It was also an African childhood filled with knock foot games and hot pepper soup heartmen and neegee When Helene was eight the Coopers took in a foster childa common custom among the Liberian elite Eunice a Bassa girl suddenly became known as Mrs Coopers daughter For years the Cooper daughtersHelene her sister Marlene and Euniceblissfully enjoyed the trappings of wealth and advantage But Liberia was like an unwatched pot of water left boiling on the stove And on April 12 1980 a group of soldiers staged a coup d'tat assassinating President William Tolbert and executing his cabinet The Coopers and the entire Congo class were now the hunted being imprisoned shot tortured and raped After a brutal daylight attack by a ragtag crew of soldiers Helene Marlene and their mother fled Sugar Beach and then Liberia for America They left Eunice behindA world away Helene tried to assimilate as an American teenager At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill she found her passion in journalism eventually becoming a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times She reported from every part of the globeexcept Africaas Liberia descended into war torn third world hellIn 2003 a near death experience in Iraq convinced Helene that Liberiaand Eunicecould wait no longer At once a deeply personal memoir and an examination of a violent and stratified country The House at Sugar Beach tells of tragedy forgiveness and transcendence with unflinching honesty and a survivor's gentle humor And at its heart it is a story of Helene Coopers long voyage homeJournalist Helene Cooper examines the violent past of her home country Liberia and the effects of its 1980 military coup in this deeply personal memoir and finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle AwardHelene Cooper is Congo a descendant of two Liberian dynastiestraced back to the first ship of freemen that set sail from New York in 1820 to found Monrovia Helene grew up at Sugar Beach a twenty two room mansion by the sea Her childhood was filled with servants flashy cars a villa in Spain and a farmhouse up country It was also an African childhood filled with knock foot games and hot pepper soup heartmen and neegee When Helene was eight the Coopers took in a foster childa common custom among the Liberian elite Eunice a Bassa girl suddenly became known as Mrs Coopers daughter For years the Cooper daughtersHelene her sister Marlene and Euniceblissfully enjoyed the trappings of wealth and advantage But Liberia was like an unwatched pot of water left boiling on the stove And on April 12 1980 a group of soldiers staged a coup d'tat assassinating President William Tolbert and executing his cabinet The Coopers and the entire Congo class were now the hunted being imprisoned shot tortured and raped After a brutal daylight attack by a ragtag crew of soldiers Helene Marlene and their mother fled Sugar Beach and then Liberia for America They left Eunice behindA world away Helene tried to assimilate as an American teenager At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill she found her passion in journalism eventually becoming a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times She reported from every part of the globeexcept Africaas Liberia descended into war torn third world hellIn 2003 a near death experience in Iraq convinced Helene that Liberiaand Eunicecould wait no longer At once a deeply personal memoir and an examination of a violent and stratified country The House at Sugar Beach tells of tragedy forgiveness and transcendence with unflinching honesty and a survivor's gentle humor And at its heart it is a story of Helene Coopers long voyage homeJournalist Helene Cooper examines the violent past of her home country Liberia and the effects of its 1980 military coup in this deeply personal memoir and finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle AwardHelene Cooper is Congo a descendant of two Liberian dynastiestraced back to the first ship of freemen that set sail from New York in 1820 to found Monrovia Helene grew up at Sugar Beach a twenty two room mansion by the sea Her childhood was filled with servants flashy cars a villa in Spain and a farmhouse up country It was also an African childhood filled with knock foot games and hot pepper soup heartmen and neegee When Helene was eight the Coopers took in a foster childa common custom among the Liberian elite Eunice a Bassa girl suddenly became known as Mrs Coopers daughter For years the Cooper daughtersHelene her sister Marlene and Euniceblissfully enjoyed the trappings of wealth and advantage But Liberia was like an unwatched pot of water left boiling on the stove And on April 12 1980 a group of soldiers staged a coup d'tat assassinating President William Tolbert and executing his cabinet The Coopers and the entire Congo class were now the hunted being imprisoned shot tortured and raped After a brutal daylight attack by a ragtag crew of soldiers Helene Marlene and their mother fled Sugar Beach and then Liberia for America They left Eunice behindA world away Helene tried to assimilate as an American teenager At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill she found her passion in journalism eventually becoming a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times She reported from every part of the globeexcept Africaas Liberia descended into war torn third world hellIn 2003 a near death experience in Iraq convinced Helene that Liberiaand Eunicecould wait no longer At once a deeply personal memoir and an examination of a violent and stratified country The House at Sugar Beach tells of tragedy forgiveness and transcendence with unflinching honesty and a survivor's gentle humor And at its heart it is a story of Helene Coopers long voyage home


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