01 Oct Dedications
So Many Africas is 240 pages long. It needs three more pages. I am supposed to write a dedication page, an acknowledgement page, and a publication acknowledgement page. My publisher says it’s up to me. Front of book, back of book. One page, two pages, or three.
Pick a person out of the crowd of your life. Who will you dedicate this book to? Who stands out? Who is most important? I don’t know. So I read up on what other authors have done.
Dedication Pages are usually short. Sometimes they are obscure and might contain coded messages. Over the years, authors have written silly, crazy, emotional, and downright funny dedications to their books.
Agatha Christie wrote this: to friends with apologies for using their swimming pool as the scene of a murder.
Tobias Wolff dedicated his book This Boy’s Life with these words: My first stepfather used to say that what I didn’t know would fill a book. Well, here it is.
Joseph J. Rotman in An Introduction to Algebraic Topology: To my wife Marganit and my children Ella Rose and Daniel Adam without whom this book would have been completed two years earlier.
Robb Hobb, Ship of Magic: To caffeine and sugar, my companions through many a long night of writing.
Peter Leeson in The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates: Ania, I love you, will you marry me?
Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator: Book the Sixth: For Beatrice–When we met my life began,Soon afterward, yours ended.
With all of these fine words jingling in my mind, I sat down and wrote my dedication, and rewrote it, and rewrote it. Sometimes the short things are the hardest to write.
PHOTO: Lozi boys playing in the Luangingwa River near Kalabo Village, Zambia, 1985