A Novel by James Hornor
James Monroe is a sophisticated American professional on mission for The World Bank in Africa during the early 1990's. Despite his worldiness, his actions betray a late Twentieth Century innocent abroad who embodies both the bravado and the debilitating insecurities of the modern American male.
Set in Zimbabwe, Kenya and Bombay, India, Mr. Monroe's journey into authenticity results in a series of failed relationships that reveal the dark, enigmatic recesses of his complex personality and eventually land him in a hellhole prison in Bombay. His tragedy unfolds into an ending that no one -especially Monroe- could have possibly predicted or imagined.
In its exploration of American male stereotypes and in its suggestion of vulnerability as a key to masculine authenticity, Victoria Falls dares to embrace those humane qualities of love, kindness and creativity that have of late been extolled as the provenance of soul searching women but have been largely ignored in American fiction about men.
Since my divorce I sought out these moments where I reached an equilibrium – a temporary satisfaction when all the disparate parts of my existence seemed to coalesce due to a harmony of circumstance. Victoria Falls, where the unsuspecting Zambezi is flung headlong into the abyss seemed a great equalizer. A place of terror and authority – where man tempted fate with airplane antics and bungee jumps. A place of endless fascination, where people stand for hours just observing. The circumstance of the falls and all the unlikely events of the previous day reinforced my anonymity -- the quiet mystery that I longed to envelop my existence.
- JAMES MONROE