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About the Book

"This powerful and poignant book of pain and courage takes us beyond the mainstream coverage of AIDS in Africa. Here we have ordinary people with extraordinary bravery and hope."
---  Cornel West, Princeton University

“Searing and somber, punctuated with illuminating flickers of hope.”
-- Kirkus

As Africa grapples with a deadly epidemic, three families struggle to survive. NO PLACE LEFT TO BURY THE DEAD: DENIAL, DESPAIR, AND HOPE IN THE AFRICAN AIDS PANDEMIC is a heartbreaking, intimate portrait of three families – and four women -- caught in the middle of the biggest health crisis in global history:

  • Adeline Majoro, a young student of accounting in the tiny country of Lesotho, discovers her abusive husband has left her a terrible gift. As her body battles the virus replicating in her blood, she remains determined to finish her education and survive to see her young son grow up.

  • In the remote South African community of Ingwavuma, the five Mathenjwa children are reeling from the recent deaths of their mother and eldest sister. Orphaned, they turn to their grandmother Mantombi Nywao for help. But that relationship turns sour when 16-year-old Sbuka is offered a job cooking and cleaning for the mother of one of her teachers in a far-away city and the five children are left to fend for themselves virtually alone.

  • Seeletso Isaacs returns to her village of Otse in Botswana, thin and wasted. She has come home to die, but the country’s revolutionary decision to offer antiretroviral drugs to people with AIDS gives her and her 5-year-old son Thabang – also HIV-positive and severely disabled from birth – a second chance at life.

NO PLACE LEFT TO BURY THE DEAD blends the personal narratives of these three families with the larger story of how the AIDS epidemic has unfolded in Africa. The result is a book that bridges the gap between arcane world of international aid and the lives of ordinary people, showing how international efforts to combat AIDS have both helped and hindered.

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