Supply Chain Council of European Union |

Letters: African literature, plastics factory, and more

African literature

Regarding “Rewriting the historical epic: African women writers go big” in the Oct. 28 Monitor Weekly: I found the article particularly interesting as soon as I started to read about Petina Gappah and her research on David Livingstone

Two other authors from Africa could be added to the great list of women you covered. They are Tsitsi Dangarembga, the Zimbabwean author of “Nervous Conditions,” and Namwali Serpell, the Zambian author of “The Old Drift.” The latter book is very much an epic in many ways.

In her research I wonder if Ms. Gappah went to the Zambian town of Livingstone near Victoria Falls (or Mosi oa Tunya, “The Smoke that Thunders”) and checked out its modest museum full of “Livingstonia.” I can believe she might have.

Rosalind Hoover
Palm Springs, California

Plastics factory

When I receive the Monitor Weekly, I flip to the “Points of Progress” to give me some hope. The item in the Nov. 25 issue on a reopened plastics factory in Libya did just the opposite.

Plastic products are choking our waterways and devastating our health. The suffering in the developing world is especially acute. The plastics factory in Libya will create 88,000 extra tons each year of a material that only rarely can be recycled and creates huge issues for the communities inundated by the waste. This does not get us to the world we need and deserve. 

We need to do what we can to help countries like Libya create good jobs that work toward a sustainable future for all.

Carol Smith
Bellingham, Washington

Calendar calculations

The political cartoon by Joe Heller in the Nov. 18 Monitor Weekly lamenting the length of campaign season, though clever, got it wrong and understates its message. Because 2020 is a leap year, the calculations are off. His countdown should add one day (that’s 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds). I take no position on the cost of political ads.

Michael G. Brautigam

Scriptural interpretation

It is a shame that more people do not share Karen Armstrong’s understanding of the origin and purpose of scripture, as she expressed in the “Q&A with Karen Armstrong” in the Dec. 2 Monitor Weekly. It is frightening that people treat scripture as a history book, science book, and statute book. Prophets and evangelists would not recognize our use of their words.

Mark Deaton
Oak Park, Illinois

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