Peter Orner’s “The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo” is a departure in two ways. First, anyone who read his exquisite debut collection, “Esther Stories,” will be flat-out flabbergasted that he has leapfrogged from urban Jewish Chicago to the veld of Namibia in 1991.
Moreover, this is not a story about Americanness — or the complicated ways in which a particular kind of white American posture of helping clashes with African ways. Rather, it’s a kind of “Winesburg, Ohio” that just happens to be set in the shadow of the Erongo Mountains.
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