Dorothy Stephens lives with her neurotic cat Chitty in Massachusetts, where she used to ride her bike but now walks along the ocean looking for inspiration for her next book. Her previous works include a memoir, Kwa Heri Means Goodbye; Memories of Kenya 1957-1959, a YA novel, A Door Just Opened, and her latest novel, Willow Run. Many of her articles, essays, and travel pieces have appeared in a number of national magazines and newspapers.
Africa Calling Me Back tells the story of Dorothy Stephens’s return to Kenya with her husband after a lapse of thirty years. They find that in Nairobi much has changed. Kenya is in flux. Political corruption, poverty, unemployment, and petty crime are rampant. Nevertheless, they are greeted warmly by old friends and rediscover the magnificence of the Kenya landscape. They attend an African style baby shower and a Kikuyu 1st birthday celebration, camp in the Maasai Mara, go on safari to Ngorongoro Crater and LakeBaringo, campaign with their friend Doc Kiano for a seat in Parliament, and spend their 50th wedding anniversary with African friends, eating roasted goat intestines on the slopes of Mount Kenya. A last chapter documents their final visit to Kenya in 1996, after the tragic loss of their daughter Kelly. It is an odyssey tinged with sadness; still, they are heartened to find signs that Kenya may be headed toward a more peaceful and prosperous future. They can only hope it succeeds.
When the “greatest generation” came home from World War II, many of the men returned to college on the GI Bill, a saga that has been the subject of numerous books and movies. But the story of their wives, also part of that greatest generation, has seldom been told. Kate McIntosh, the young mother of a toddler and a newborn, struggles with the challenges of being isolated in barracks-like World War II housing in Willow Run Village, with no car, little money, and a mostly absent husband., Mark, her husband, attends classes at the university during the day and works on the assembly line at the nearby auto plant at night. He is rarely home. When she and Mark meet with other graduate students, Kate feels awkward and excluded, with nothing to talk about but diapers and pureed carrots.