Book Report: How to Make an African Quilt

I am happy for my writing friends when they have a book published. The latest is Bonnie Lee Black, whose third memoir, “How to Make an African Quilt,” is out.
Bonnie is a person who creates positive change. She did that with her first memoir, “Somewhere Child,” which was key in the establishment of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

In her second, “How to Cook a Crocodile,”she wrote about being a Peace Corps volunteer in Gabon. Her work there was to teach women and their children about good nutrition and health practices. Of course, the book has recipes. (Bonnie’s also a cook.)

So, the last I read about Bonnie she was in Gabon and in love with an African man. After reading “How to Make an African Quilt” on the plane to Boston I know what happened to her afterward when they left together for S├ęgou, Mali.

This time, Bonnie uses fabric and quilting techniques to help women find a creative source of income. Thus the Patchwork Project began. She also teaches girls in Club Crotchet to use strips of recycled plastic bags to make purses. She interacts with her neighbors and bravely rides her bicycle through the village. Then, there is her fictional account of a Malian woman kidnapped by slave traders that is threaded throughout the book.

Bonnie is a keen observer and a good storyteller.  She obviously loves the people and places she writes about. 

If you’re near Taos, Bonnie will read from her memoir Saturday (May 11), 2 p.m. at Moby Dickens Bookshop. If not, you can find “How to Make an African Quilt”  (Nighthawk Press) on Amazon.com.


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