Born in Chicago, IL. Education: Carthage College, B.A.; Hollins University, M.A.; University of Notre Dame, Havana, Cuba, M.F.A.
Home—Sarasota, FL. Agent—Liz Darhansoff, Darhansoff, Verrill, Feldman Literary Agents, 236 W. 26th St., Ste. 802,New York, NY 10001.
During early career worked in an Israeli kibbutz; served in the Peace Corps in the Ivory Coast, 2000-02, and Madagascar, 2002-03; writing instructor.
Selected as one of seven young fiction writers to represent theUnited States at the first U.S.-Cuba writers‧ conference held since the revolution, Havana, Cuba; National Endowment for the Arts literature fellow in prose, 2006.
Whiteman (novel), Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including the New Yorker, Playboy, Literary Review,Black Warrior Review, Tin House, Stand, Iron Horse, McSweeney's, and Subtropics.
Tony D'Souza drew on his Peace Corps experiences to write his debut novel, Whiteman, which consists of a dozen parts, each of which can stand on its own. His protagonist, Jack Diaz, works for Potable Water International, an agency that digs wells and improves water quality. Jack was trained in Abidjan in the Christian southern part of this volatile country and now serves in Tegeso, in the Muslim northern area, where Mamadou has been appointed to help him with local customs and language. Jack and his fellow relief workers have made little difference, however. The majority have returned home—one to a mental asylum—while two are ill with malaria. After the terrorist attacks of 2001, funding dried up, and there is little more that can be done. Jack looks for other ways to stay busy, including fishing, hunting, and teaching AIDS prevention. He also becomes involved with several of the local women. When asked by a village chief why he does not go home, he says that he feels compelled to stay. In aLibrary Journal review, Evelyn Beck described Jack as being "a volunteer whose major project is himself."
Wyatt Mason wrote in the New York Times Book Review: "One significant virtue of D'Souza's storytelling rests in his ability to present Jack's experiences of African life with a vividness that reveals the continent's allure without sentimentalizing its exoticism." A Kirkus Reviews contributor describedWhiteman as being "an exceptional account of West African village life, written with enormous affection and you-are-there immediacy."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 2006, Vanessa Bush, review ofWhiteman, p. 27.
Entertainment Weekly, April 7, 2006, Gilbert Cruz, review of Whiteman, p. 65.
Kirkus Reviews,January 1, 2006, review of Whiteman, p. 6.
Library Journal, February 1, 2006, Evelyn Beck, review of Whiteman,p. 70.
New York Times Book Review, April 16, 2006, Wyatt Mason, review of Whiteman, p. 26.
People, May 1, 2006, Francine Prose, review of Whiteman, p. 52.
Seattle Times, June 23, 2006, Michael Upchurch, review of Whiteman.
Tony D'Souza Home Page,http://www.tonydsouza.com (July 3, 2006).