So Many Africas

Six Years in a Zambian Village

by Jill Kandel

SoIn 1981, Jill Kandel traveled to the remote Zambian village of Kalabo. She was a bride of six weeks, married to a blue-eyed boy from the Netherlands. Amidst international crises and famine, she gave birth to two children, bridged a cultural divide with her Dutch husband, and was devastated by a car accident that took the life of a twelve-year-old Zambian child. She stayed six years. After returning home, Kandel struggled to find her voice and herself. This is the story of how she found her way home.


Published by: Autumn House Press


  • 2014 Autumn House Prize for Creative Nonfiction

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About the Author

Jill Kandel grew up in North Dakota, riding her Appaloosa bareback across the prairie. She has lived and worked in Zambia, Indonesia, England, and in the Netherlands. She now lives with her husband and children in Minnesota where she teaches creative writing and essay. Kandel also teaches journal writing classes to female inmates at a local county jail.

Kandel's book, So Many Africas: Six Years in a Zambian Village won the 2014 Autumn House Prize for Creative Nonfiction. She was the runner-up of the 23rd Annual Missouri Review Jeffry E. Smith Editors' Prize and her work has been anthologized in Best Spiritual Writing 2012 (Penguin Books) and in Becoming: What Makes a Woman (University of Nebraska, 2012). Her essays have been published in The Missouri Review, Gettysburg Review, Brevity, River Teeth, Pinch, and Image.