For further information or to schedule
an interview, contact:
"It takes courage -- of the heartbreaking kind -- to write as honestly as Bill Close has, both about himself and about the man whom he knew first as a friend and only later as Mobutu the dictator." -- Alexandra Fuller, best-selling author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood
"Bill Close has a profound understanding of the African people. His new book has the ability of making one of Africa's monsters, Mobutu, comprehensible if not likeable. Beyond the Storm establishes Bill’s reputation as a superb storyteller."-- Daniel H. Simpson, U.S. Ambassador to Zaire/Democratic Republic of Congo, 1995-1998. Associate Editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade
INTERVIEW: Dr. William Close spent 16 years practicing medicine in Africa, was chief doctor of the Congolese Army and personal physician to Zaire's President Mobutu Sese Seko. He was in Zaire during the terrifying 1976 Ebola outbreak and helped organize the effort to stop Ebola then.
Dr. Close has been featured in national media including People, Daily Variety, The New Yorker, and USA TODAY. He is the author of three books: Ebola: Through the Eyes of the People, A Doctor's Life: Unique Stories, and Subversion of Trust. Ebola was a Ballantine Books bestseller with 240,000 copies sold.
"Ebola is an eloquent, gripping, and beautiful account of the real doctors, nurses, and victims who lived and died during that harrowing nightmare."
-- RICHARD PRESTON, Author of The Hot Zone
INTERVIEW: Dr. Malonga Miatudila earned a master's in Public Health from Tulane University. For fifteen years, he was a Public Health Specialist at the World Bank, and now devotes his time as an adviser to individuals and organizations active in the areas of public health and international development.
IN BRIEF ABOUT THE BOOK:
Let my book, Beyond the Storm, serve as a vaccination against the poison of power, says Dr. Close. His book tells the story of the power of power to corrupt under the Mobutu reign in the Congo. It draws on his past as chief doctor of the Congolese Army and personal physician to Zaire's President Mobutu Sese Seko.
Beyond the Storm: Treating the Powerless and the Powerful in Mobutu's Congo/Zaire will provide readers with a well-informed and in-depth look at past medical and political challenges that continue to resonate in today's Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.).
The revolutions, rebellions, mutinies, coup d'état, and economic disasters that marked the first fifteen years of the country's independence are the subject of Beyond the Storm.
The book will help the readers understand the present crisis and threatening storms, as the results of the July 30, 2006 elections, the first free elections in 40 years, are still being tallied.
MORE ABOUT THE BOOK:
The colonel's great-aunt sat cross-legged on the carpet with her mouth wide open. With a gnarled finger, she pointed down her throat. A fishbone peeked over the base of her tongue and was easily retrieved. The old woman and the colonel were delighted. The doctor was relieved. This episode was the first of many that led Dr. Bill Close toward becoming the physician and friend to many, including the colonel who became president and then dictator of the Congo.
Beyond the Storm details Close's extraordinary experiences during the uncontrollable human storms that crashed repeatedly in the Congo after independence. In July of 1960 chaos erupted when Belgium turned over power to Patrice Lumumba, the first elected prime minister, but kept the keys to the nation's prodigious mineral wealth. Two men, Colonel Joseph Désiré Mobutu, the newly appointed army chief of staff, and William T. Close, M.D., volunteer surgeon in the general hospital, met, and their lives became intertwined during the next sixteen years.
SUGGESTED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS/TALKING POINTS:
"From his unique perspective on the events in Congo/Zaire in the 60s and 70s, Dr. Close has fashioned an important book that has a poignant relevance to public health affairs in Africa today. His first-hand observation of the effects of power and corruption speak clearly to today's readers as he charts measurable success in a career very few others could have endured."
Audrey Bullar, Health & Well-being Team Leader,
Joseph Beth Booksellers, Rookwood Pavilion
For further information,
Or at Meadowlark Springs Productions,