“Monique and the Mango Rains” by Kris Holloway

“Monique and the Mango Rains” by Kris Holloway

Short Essay 2 is a reflection piece on your reading of “Monique and the Mango Rains” by Kris Holloway. The essay must be 500-750 words (equivalent to 2-3 double-spaced pp.).

Late papers will be automatically rejected in the system.

Your grade for the essay will be based on:

1) the content of the paper and evidence of thoroughly reading the book and 2) writing style (grammar, spelling and clarity of expression).

For this essay, you must choose 2 of the following 5 topics to discuss using SPECIFIC EXAMPLES FROM THE BOOK. When using direct quotes, specify the page number in parentheses. Include the question numbers before each response but do NOT include the question in your essay. Each response should be approx. one page in length.

*Conclude the essay with a final paragraph providing your personal opinion of this book and what you learned from reading it.


1. What do you know about childbirth and childrearing practices in Mali after reading this book? What are the drawbacks and advantages to giving birth in Mali? What do you know of childbirth in the US? How is it similar to/ different from what happens in Mali? How do you think the birth process is culturally constructed?

2. Local customs and rituals are included throughout the book. For example, both the chickpea prophecy and the yeleworo prophecy come true. Why do you think the author included them? What are your views, now that you have read the book, about the importance of these rituals and the reality behind them?

3. Cultural relativism is the principle that an individual human’s beliefs and values make sense in terms of his or her own culture. Do you feel that certain values are universal and that all people should be encouraged to adopt them regardless of their culture? If so, name some of these values. What did both Monique and Kris share as values that they worked hard to implement despite their cultural differences? What were some challenges and achievements in their work together in Nampossela?

4. Describe some of the difficulties experienced by women in Malian culture in terms of their social status, health status and economic status. How did Kris cope with these differences as an American woman living in Mali? How did her presence in the village affect Monique and how did their cross-cultural friendship change both of their lives?

*5. If there is another specific topic in the book you would like to write about that, email or speak to the professor for approval first.

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