Liberian author Elma Shaw comes to Washington, DC and will discuss her new book, the current situation in Liberia, and the future of the country.
Set in Monrovia during the administration of Liberia’s former president, Charles Taylor, this riveting debut is a story of recovery, atonement, and the continuing quest for peace and justice in a nation plagued by conflict and inequalities since its founding by freed American slaves. Life in war-torn Liberia is not easy, and it is especially challenging for Bendu Lewis, a young woman who counsels traumatized survivors of Liberia’s civil war while struggling silently with memories of her own war-time experiences. When the warlord who once held her in captivity suddenly appears in town, she decides that for her own healing, and for the voiceless victims of the war, she must bring him to justice for his past atrocities. In her pursuit of Commander Cobra, Bendu finds much more than she bargained for, including the courage to finally confront and make amends for her own painful war-time secret.
“Liberia could very well enter the canon of post-conflict literature with Elma Shaw’s Redemption Road. Peppered with flashbacks, chock full of suspense, and sprinkled with a smidgen of romance, Redemption Road contextualizes the Liberian Civil War with gut-wrenching appeal…It brings to bear Liberia’s tortured history, and civil conflict no doubt, but it also transcends the country’s context to ask universal questions about truth, reconciliation, forgiveness, and the power of unconditional love.”
– Robtel Neajai Pailey, LIBERIA Travel & Life Magazine
Elma Shaw holds a BA in Communication Media and a Master’s in Film and Video from American University. She currently lives in Monrovia, Liberia, with her husband and their two sons.