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Crawford School master’s student proves that story telling isn’t just for the professionals.
George Gyude Wisner II is much more than what meets the eye. Open-hearted, friendly and hard-working are some of the words his supervisors use to describe him.
But, what many people don’t know is that Mr Wisner has hidden talents. He’s a co-author of multiple United Nations Development Program (UNDP) commissioned studies, a poet and most recently the author of his first novel.
Growing up in Liberia in 1989, Wisner was caught in the midst of the chaos and carnage of the civil war and he began making many observations about the soldiers and events he encountered.
He said he could sense civility among some of the fighters and found himself questioning why people would want to be involved in such a terrible scenario.
The novel, When the heart decides, tells the story of a woman who is faced with a crisis in her life. She must choose between protecting the integrity of her family’s name or following her heart’s desires in the arms of a notorious rebel commander.
“I observed my surroundings and felt compelled to recreate the Liberian civil conflict in a romantic fashion so I decided to write a novel.
“I didn’t want to just capture the realities and social and political undercurrents of the Liberian civil conflict but I also wanted to prevent future generations from some of the vices of war,” he said.
Mr Wisner said the book also has universal lessons that contribute to a wider understanding of intercultural relationships.
“Everyone who’s come across the book has felt that even though it was written on the Liberian civil conflict, there was still a connection for them whether they were from Australia, Kenya, or the US.”
One of the book reviewers, Miss Belynda Akello, who’s also a master’s student at Crawford School, said the author engages the reader with issues that affect every person despite their race, colour and background.
“The novel is a classic African epic that recounts the realities of war with a dash of romance and Christianity.
“The author is able to use the power of words to engage the reader and he gives a warm and witty tail of tradition and the realities of the war from a person who experienced it,” she said.
Miss Akello described the book as enchanting, inspirational and moving.
Join Mr Wisner for the launch of his novel at 6pm, Friday 18 October. The book will be launched by former Australian Ambassador to Liberia, William (Billy) Williams at Crawford School. A series of poems by Mr Wisner are also included.
Story by Amelia Bidgood.