On his 14th birthday, Fitzroy Foster has his picture taken, just as he has on every other birthday. But a strange image appears in the Polaroid shot--the face of a stranger in place of his own. More snapshots are taken, all with the same result. With his feisty childhood sweetheart, Cam, supporting him, Fitz reluctantly embarks on a years-long journey to discover who this man might be. On the way, they uncover twisted kidnappings of indigenous peoples and the 19th-century human zoos where they were exhibited.
In Darwin's Ghosts, Ariel Dorfman (Death and the Maiden) expertly intertwines fact and fiction. This haunted and haunting tale explores the concept of genetic inheritance, love and forgiveness. Can the misdeeds and sins of previous generations be handed down through the years until the right combination of DNA appears, creating the perfect host for these sordid affairs to manifest? It is this question that Fitz must answer if he ever hopes to see his own face in a photograph again. Dorfman's eloquent prose is filled with lengthy and twisting musings that propel the plot forward in search of truthful answers.
By combining science, historical data and conscience in this fictional piece, Dorfman raises questions about who is responsible for the invasion of foreign lands and the mistreatment of native people that happened hundreds of years ago--the people of that time or the generations that followed? His story is an artful look at love, clemency and exoneration. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer