As I march on this contentious trail before exaltation, tears keep me company. An uninvited companion in a time of self-doubt while searching for exhilaration. A feeling of loneliness engulfs me in the presence of many. Without hesitation, please rejoice with me as the anointed day approaches. At this juncture, finding my spot on a slippery path is my desire. With a sense of reverence, I will never forget that at times, there is ‘Tears Before Exaltation.’
Fidelis O Mkparu, author of ‘Tears before Exaltation.’
‘Tears Before Exaltation’ is a literary drama about courage and resilience to be released on March 16, 2018 by Harvard Square Editions. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores. Order your copy, or copies. Thank you for your support.
A group of young students surrounded me. The author of ‘Love’s Affliction.’ The man with all the answers about love, as they probably believed. Amazed at their exuberance, I reflected and smiled. Maybe from a change in my demeanor, some of them came closer to me as if I was about to share a revelation. A wisdom of age and experience. When I smiled more, they said, “tell us about love. Your inspiration for your book.” I sighed. They waited, anxiously.
How I explained love to the students was as succinct as possible for me. A mini treatise. Avoiding verbosity, my inclination, I proceeded to tell them my opinion about love. It is not how many times we say, “I love you,” or how many cards we send to each other that matter. Several events came to my mind as I looked at them. The eager students surrounding me. I remembered love in so many ways; sharing one winter coat at a bus-stop on a cold December evening. Holding each other tight to create oneness that made a coat adequate for two people. As they smiled and laughed, I remembered another story that I could not share with them; sharing a kiss and saliva when one of us is sick with a flu, and staying awake to ‘guard’ the recovery. I could not share that story with them for health reasons, but I told them that I know love when I see it. It is not what I hear about love that matters, but what one does for love.
Summarizing for them, I stated that true love is what we feel, and not what we hear about the immensity of it. As I was walking away, I told them not to shed ‘Tears before Exaltation’, but rather, to discover the secret of perpetual happiness. Everyone laughed.
Fidelis O Mkparu, author of ‘Love’s Affliction’ and soon to be published ‘Tears before Exaltation’
I identified my components this morning; one wants to stay in bed to enjoy the rainy day, the adventurist wants to run away to explore the world, and the best part of me accepts my calling to stay my course to take care of lives entrusted in my hands. Never run away from who you are. You can’t reach your destination in life without you. (Fidelis O Mkparu, author of ‘Love’s Affliction’ May 1, 2017)
“There was no moon to influence the night. Just you, your beauty, and your wondrous smile. We sat for two hours. Kisses and nibbles. Laughing and fondling. Falling for each other endlessly. We woke to embrace, and arouse. Fanning the fire we started. Losing every sense of time, and embracing candor. Whispers and moaning.” ~Fidelis O Mkparu, (2016) author of ‘Love’s Affliction’
“We sailed at dawn. Moonless night. Dark clouds hovered in the horizon. Howling wind, and choppy water. Our boat rocked from side to side. Dancing for the water god. A jitterbug. We approached the deck with trepidation until warm sloppy kisses lit our fire. Our bodies twisted together as if malleable. Parts finding its natural receptacles. I’ll dance for no god tonight. Only your love can make my heart sway.” ~Fidelis O Mkparu (2016), author of ‘Love’s Affliction’
“Don’t let anyone trample on your dream, or let the river take you to its destination. Take the river to your own destination. When you find love, hold on to it.” ~ Fidelis O Mkparu (2016), author of ‘Love’s affliction’
“Sitting in the outdoor cafe, the sun finally set. The clouds grew darker. We ignored the rumbling of the night sky, and the parallel bar gymnastics of the lightning. Flashes of light in all directions. My heart began its own flip flops. An emotional gymnast. Even the rain could not put out my fire, as I watched your eyes undress me.” ~ Fidelis O Mkparu (2016), author of ‘Love’s Affliction’
A book review by ‘San Francisco Book Review’
By Fidelis O. Mkparu
Harvard Square Editions, $22.95, 274 pages, Format: Trade
Star Rating: 5 out of 5
Joseph Fafa, a Nigerian student, begins his undergraduate medical studies in 1977 at North Carolina College. His first day there, Joseph meets Wendy Crane, a Caucasian student. Joseph is unaware that Wendy comes from a prestigious and powerful family. Because they are medical students, Joseph and Wendy spend a great deal of time studying together, and, over time, they fall in love. But it is the late 1970s, and interracial relations only exacerbate the bigoted diatribe lurking about campus. Joseph and Wendy have plans to go through medical school together and eventually get married. But when Joseph learns that the school board rescinds his scholarship to the school’s post-graduate medical program, Joseph has to try to move on with his life without Wendy.
Rising author Fidelis O. Mkparu crafts a love story interlaced with issues that are more fact than fiction. Using elements from Shakespeare’s //Romeo and Juliet//, Mkparu aptly captures the reality of an African student seeking a better life in America; like many foreign students coming to America for the first time, Joseph may be filled with hopes and dreams, but he is alone. Early on in his debut, Mkparu zeroes in on Joseph’s emotional vulnerability as well as his naiveté – separated from the comfort of family and friends – when he unexpectedly finds himself helplessly in love with Wendy, a wealthy white girl. Interestingly, Wendy has her own issues with vulnerability, because she is desperately trying to free herself from her bigoted familial environs.
The magnetism between the lovers is immediate and strong. Mkparu does a stellar job not only developing their individual personas, but then also incorporating them within an intense need-based relationship. Mkparu underpins a constant theme of racism amid alternating scenes largely between Joseph and Wendy, but also covering other aspects of Joseph’s life as well. One striking aspect is the cultural differences between the lovers. For example, Joseph understands bigotry from a religious standpoint, because he has lived through civil war (between Muslims and Christians), plus has lost loved ones in the process. That said, Joseph has a totally different perception of the phrase “Campus Crusade,” compared to what Wendy acknowledges as a Christian revival service.
A must-read, //Love’s Affliction// is an exceptionally gripping and poignant story. While intense throughout, there is resolution – and not quite what one may expect!
Some pre-publication reviews of my book, Love’s Affliction, suggest that it is about the life of the author. I chuckle when I read emails pleading with me to “come clean” and tell the truth about the special love affair I supposedly had in undergraduate school that prompted me to write the book. I am aware that once I release Love’s Affliction on March 17, 2015, it would belong to every citizen of the world who has interest in owning, or reading it. Reviews to follow, positive or negative, excite me, even before they are articulated. Will the new reviews suggest that Love’s Affliction is an autobiography?
Love’s Affliction is about a special relationship between two college students trying to understand the meaning of love and commitment. How will Wendy Crane, the protagonist’s lover, resolve her conflicts? Love’s Affliction depicts vividly a clash between romantic love and family commitment.
Although Love’s Affliction is a love story, more importantly, it is about perseverance. An account of Joseph Fafa’s desire to succeed against all odds. It details his aspiration to be exemplary and the obstacles he encounters.
Love’s Affliction deals with limitations of romantic love. Comfortingly, it tackles the limitations with compassion. Embrace Love’s Affliction and be rewarded with fulfillment.
A tale of Love and Acceptance. A fiction.
Fidelis O Mkparu
March 15, 2015
Loveseat, for only you and me. I sat next to you. Tender fingers ruffled my hair. I closed my eyes. My right ear rested on your chest. Fascinating rhythmic sounds. Your heartbeats. Intrigued. Eyes twinkled, and mouth agape. A worthy discovery, at age of five. We exchanged smiles. You pressed my head firmly to your chest. It quickens. Enthralling sounds of your heart. Perplexed by the increased rate, I exclaimed, “Mom, I heard sounds!” My first patient. First heart examination.
That was how it started. Daily heart examinations. It was you my mother. Who else could? Only you chose for me. My profession. A heart doctor. But first, your son.
“My son listened to my heart,” you said to your friends every Christmas. We exchanged smiles. On departure, instead of smiles, we cried. You wiped my tears.
I held your hand. Lowered my ear to your chest. No heartbeats. You left me. Twenty-one years ago. I cried alone. My tears never dried.
Just a minute! I still smile, each time I listen to heartbeats.
No more tears. Only smiles for you, my mother.
Fidelis O Mkparu, MD., FACC.
December 14, 2014