Reid Hoffman is the billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn and partner at venture capital firm Greylock Partners. Smith shares his opinion on Like a mule bringing ice cream to the sun (Legend Press and Cassava Republic Press, 2016), by Sarah Ladipo Manyika, for our continuing series of book reviews by leaders in business, academia, entertainment and politics. See more executive reviews here.
As Morayo Da Silva’s 75th birthday approaches, she plans to get a tattoo to celebrate. Still, the DMV seems determined to strip him of his driver’s license. When she injures her hip and needs surgery, her independence is further compromised. Yet the retired English teacher from Nigeria, now living alone in San Francisco, remains committed to the idea that she still has many possible futures ahead of her.
Displacement is a recurring theme in this deliberate and eloquent novel. Morayo resides in a land where her relationships seem quite tenuous and she adjusts to an aging body that correlates less and less with the self she knows herself to be. Another character is newly homeless. A third navigates the worsening dementia of his institutionalized wife. She is no longer herself, so neither is he.
But if displacement occupies an important place in this novel, the desire for connection is there to counterbalance it. And ultimately, that’s why I find it so compelling: we are always so much more than what we initially appear to others – but it’s only by interacting with others that we truly make ourselves known.