Laura Lee Huttenbach
Author of RUNNING WITH RAVEN and THE BOY IS GONE
In 1975 Robert “Raven” Kraft, a high school dropout and aspiring songwriter, made a New Year’s Resolution to run eight miles on Miami’s South Beach each evening. Over 125,000 miles later, he has not missed one sunset.
Along the way, Raven has changed the lives of thousands who have run with him—many of them hundreds of times. From all fifty states and dozens of countries, across all age groups and backgrounds, they come to run with Raven, and in the process find friendship, inspiration—and a nickname.
Among them is author Laura Lee “White Lightning” Huttenbach, who has logged over a thousand miles of Raven Runs. Here she explores the stories of dozens of others about why they started running with Raven—and why they keep coming back. Taxman, an accountant in his mid-60s, has done 1800+ runs. Dizzy, a middle school principal from Cuba, met his wife and his best friend on Raven Runs. Butcher, an ex-convict, credits Raven with saving his life. In an uncertain world Raven shows up, no matter what.
Quirky and appealing, tenacious and magnetic, Raven is a legend of the running world. As he says, “I may be the only thing that hasn’t changed around here in the last forty years.” Laura Lee Huttenbach reveals how one man’s daily ritual has blossomed into an uncanny gift for weaving people together—and an invaluable reminder that the journey means little without the connections forged along the way. (From Kensington Press.)
A story with the power to change how people view the last years of colonialism in East Africa, The Boy Is Gone portrays the struggle for Kenyan independence in the words of a freedom fighter whose life spanned the twentieth century's most dramatic transformations. Born into an impoverished farm family in the Meru Highlands, Japhlet Thambu grew up wearing goatskins and lived to stand before his community dressed for business in a pressed suit, crisp tie, and freshly polished shoes. For most of the last four decades, however, he dressed for work in the primary school classroom and on his lush tea farm.
The General, as he came to be called from his leadership of the Mau Mau uprising sixty years ago, narrates his life story in conversation with Laura Lee Huttenbach, a young American who met him while backpacking in Kenya in 2006. A gifted storyteller with a keen appreciation for language and a sense of responsibility as a repository of his people's history, the General talks of his childhood in the voice of a young boy, his fight against the British in the voice of a soldier, and his long life in the voice of shrewd elder. While his life experiences are his alone, his story adds immeasurably to the long history of decolonization as it played out across Africa, Asia, and the Americas. (Ohio University Press, 2015.)
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