Naming characters can be tricky. I’m sure there are a thousand books on how to do it, but I’ve not read them.
When it came to the African slave boy who becomes Mary Boland’s soul brother, I did research on African surnames. I finally chose Okafor. He is Kamua Okafor, son of a witch doctor, and brilliant.
Imagine my surprise while watching the N.C.A.A. finals to see their freshman star, Jahlil Okafor. And he looks exactly the way I imagined Kamua at the same age.
Well, perhaps Kamua wasn’t 6’11”, but he was tall.
I’m taking this as an omen that you will love Shanty Gold. Please stay tuned for publication date and readings. It won’t be long now.