Brian Allen can’t go home again. There were no rich, no poor, and no unemployment in the Panama Canal Zone. Yet his utopian town was nullified by treaty, bulldozed to the ground, and the dead have been exhumed. Brian tells his story, warts and all, with humor and compassion. My Paradise Lost is about a boy growing to manhood in the last golden years of the Canal Zone, the turbulent ’60s and ’70s. It began as an innocent, Huck Finn in the rain forest existence, then got complicated. His township of Coco Solo was a blue collar world of mangoes and maids, exotica and history. Misadventure abounds, and the reader is there. Get lost in the swamp, tip a stripper, and poke the jaguar. Teen romance is awkward anywhere, prepare to blush. There is parental conflict, life, death, and the ghost of Jim Crow discrimination via nationality. At the best time of his life, Brian is involved in a fatal car accident that puts him in the custody of the intimidating Guardia Nacional. His fate rests in the courts of a dictatorship whose El Supremo is bent on sovereignty over his Canal Zone home. You will feel the tropical sun, splash in the canal, laughand ache for love, then cry for the dead. Photos and popular local recipes are included.
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