Chameleon Days: An American Boyhood in Ethiopia

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jun 14, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
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In 1964, at the age of three, Tim Bascom is thrust into a world of eucalyptus trees and stampeding baboons when his family moves from the Midwest to Ethiopia. The unflinchingly observant narrator of this memoir reveals his missionary parents’ struggles in a sometimes hostile country. Sent reluctantly to boarding school in the capital, young Tim finds that beyond the gates enclosing that peculiar, isolated world, conflict roils Ethiopian society. When secret riot drills at school are followed with an attack by rampaging students near his parents' mission station, Tim witnesses the disintegration of his family’s African idyll as Haile Selassie’s empire begins to crumble.

Like Alexandra Fuller’s Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Chameleon Days chronicles social upheaval through the keen yet naive eyes of a child. Bascom offers readers a fascinating glimpse of missionary life, much as Barbara Kingsolver did in The Poisonwood Bible.

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User Review  - NielsenGW - LibraryThing

In 1964, the Bascom family moved from Kansas to Ethiopia. Tom Bascom’s father was a doctor and a religious man, and so, felt a calling to help struggling folks in Africa with both medicine and faith ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bookwoman247 - LibraryThing

Tim Bascomb is the son of American missionaries, and, as a result, spent much of his childhood in Ethiopia in the 1960's. Like the children of many former missionaries, he had to adapt and make ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

TIM BASCOM spent much of his childhood in Ethiopia, where his father, a
doctor, worked in mission hospitals. A graduate of the Nonfiction Writing
Program at the University of Iowa, he has been published in The Best American Travel Writing. He lives in Newton, Iowa, with his wife and two sons.

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