Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Village of Waiting

The Village of Waiting

George Packer

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Back in print, the "masterful" (The New York Times Book Review) account of an American in West Africa

Now restored to print with a new Foreword by Philip Gourevitch and an Afterword by the author, The Village of Waiting is a frank, moving, and vivid account of contemporary life in West Africa. Stationed as a Peace Corps instructor in the village of Lavié (the name means "wait a little more") in tiny and underdeveloped Togo, George Packer reveals his own schooling at the hands of an unforgettable array of townspeople—peasants, chiefs, charlatans, children, market women, cripples, crazies, and those who, having lost or given up much of their traditional identity and fastened their hopes on "development," find themselves trapped between the familiar repetitions of rural life and the chafing monotony of waiting for change.

Praise for The Village of Waiting

“Lovely in its feeling for the people and realistic in its assessment of the African situations, this is a first-rate piece of social reportage.”—Irving Howe

“[A] fond and angry account...An impressively unself-righteous and questioning work of intimate introduction, in which each dislocation of hope and breakdown of sense matters. Truthful throughout.”—The New Yorker

“Glowing...A masterful book.”—The New York Times Book Review


Reviews from Goodreads

George Packer

GEORGE PACKER is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq, which received several prizes and was named one of the ten best books of 2005 by The New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of two novels, The Half Man and Central Square, and two other works of nonfiction, including Blood of the Liberals, which won the 2001 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. His play, Betrayed, ran for five months in 2008 and won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play. His most recent book is Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century. He lives in Brooklyn.

image of George Packero
Kris Julien

George Packer

Read the author in the New Yorker

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Latest on Facebook