Africa—anguished, impoverished, monstrously beautiful—takes the measure of every novelist daring enough to confront its mysteries. Lara Santoro's Mercy
(Other Press) swirls around a self-immolating Italian-born journalist named Anna, the two wildly attractive men she attracts and deflects, and her self-appointed housekeeper, a force of nature named Mercy. The urgent message of this gorgeously written novel, which deals head-on with the ravages of AIDS on a continent of grief: Open your eyes and look hard.
— Cathleen Medwick