My Cousin’s Book

January 5, 2007

Here’s more information about Lara’s book.

MERCY by Lara Santoro. Other Press (ed. Rosemary Ahern)

Anna, a troubled war correspondent with a history of addiction and infidelity, is living in Nairobi, reporting on the political turmoil that abounds throughout the country, and the continent. To escape the atrocities of day-to-day life in Africa, and her own demons, she turns to alcohol. Anna is caught in a love triangle between Myles, another war correspondent whose dangerous lifestyle means he cannot be counted upon for stability, and Nick, a wealthy coffee farmer who adores Anna but lacks the seriousness of Myles. Soon, she hires Mercy as her maid—a larger-than-life figure with a disreputable past. Initially suspicious and contemptuous of one another, the two women develop a bond that transforms their lives. Through her relationship with Mercy, Anna is able to fully understand and comprehend the injustices that surround her—poverty and disease are everywhere. While at first she is able to keep the horror of the AIDS crisis at arms reach, it is not long before it hits far too close to home: Mercy admits that she is infected with HIV. Despite Anna’s determination to “extract one living body from this orgy of death,” Mercy dies of AIDS. In the end, Anna, and the reader, are left with the sad realization of life’s inequalities—and the frustrating, and somewhat hopeful, understanding that change is almost within reach.

Santoro was born in Rome, Italy, and worked as a foreign correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek Magazine, covering mostly conflict. MERCY is her first novel. Translation & UK: EMLA (Markson)



  1. It sounds riveting, Stinni.. I hope you do let us know when it is published. I’d definitely grab a copy.
    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  2. It sounds really interesting. I’m definitely going to read it. Probably let your mother or dad buy it and borrow it from them LOL

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