A Thousand Points of Light
I wish my heart could be a shield, but my prayers will have to do…
by Marc-Vincent Jackson
Beautiful and determined, an outcast Senegalese woman clings relentlessly to dreams of her beloved savior, a lost folklore hero, returning to her from across the ocean. Broken but wise, a devoted griot painfully witnesses and faithfully tells her dogged plight, loving her from afar and mostly in vain. Committed American volunteers zealously navigate a developing culturally rich African country, becoming intimately immersed, and sometimes, unwittingly entangled. Alienated and frustrated, one unsuspecting volunteer bitterly chronicles his uneasy experiences with unsparing criticism. A desperate journey, an unspoken heart, patriotic dedication, and a candid diary lyrically meld into a seamless mystical reality with surprising results.
Author Marc-Vincent Jackson writes, “That evening, Ndeysa, Mother-Ancestor, comes to Rama and Fatou’s hut. Fatou’s stomach tightens at the realization that she is now to become a woman in the Fula way, by blood. Looking at her mother’s and Ndeysa’s faces, she lets her eyes fall on the two rice-sized marks, puffed and black, which frame their eyes and bring tears to hers. Their faces, and very soon hers, were not like the French faces in her schoolbooks. This, she could accept. But the rest of the bloody ritual, the excision, she had vowed to herself not to endure. She had discussed this at school with some of the other girls whose tribes had the same ritual and had decided that while scarring is a visual must, excision is dangerous and unnecessary. Besides, French girls and other toubabs didn’t do it….”
Paperback | 437 pages | Page Publishing | 2018
For nearly three decades, Marc-Vincent Jackson has been an educator specializing in World Languages having taught three different languages on three continents. An enthusiastic traveler and avid reader, his passionate interests include entertaining, cooking, gardening, film, music, and experiencing different cultures. He still plans to master Arabic and fulfill his dream of reading the Koran in its original language. Multicultural and multilingual (English, French, Spanish and, Wolof), he attended the University of Bordeaux, France, and the University of Seville, Spain, and graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a B.A. in Romance Languages and a B.S. in Journalism. He subsequently volunteered several years in the U.S. Peace Corps, Senegal, and was a group leader with Operations Crossroads Africa in Mali. He has been associated with a variety of African diaspora film festivals, such as FESPACO, as well as the Pan African Film Festival, in various capacities since its founding. By immersing himself in the local cultures, these intimate explorations and experiences give him a unique perspective and broaden his creative voice and insight as a writer. Upon settling in the United States, he eventually pursued an M.A. in Education at California State University, Dominguez Hills in Los Angeles, where he currently resides when not almost religiously traveling the world! A Thousand Points of Light is his debut novel.