“Running to the Fire – An American Missionary Comes of Age in Revolutionary Ethiopia” by Tim Bascom was published by the University of Iowa Press in 2015

By Earl Horlyk (Sioux City Journal) |

At its core, a good memoir is like the lens of a camera.

Not only should the autobiography allow for the chronicling of a past event, it also requires the author to examine the incident with the maturity that comes with the passage of time.

Those were the thoughts racing through the mind of author Tim Bascom when he was writing “Running to the Fire,” a coming-of-age memoir depicting a Midwestern teenager — the son of Christian missionary parents — growing up in the streets of Addis Ababa during the Marxist revolution in Ethiopia in the mid-1970s.

“My dad served as a medical doctor when we first moved to Ethiopia,” Bascom recalled. “I was 3 years old when we got there and 9 years old when we returned (to the United States).”

Bascom’s family went back to Ethiopia when he was in high school.

ALSO READ Missionary Recounts Travels, Experiences in Ethiopia“My earliest memories of Ethiopia was of a gentle place where everybody was shown respect and deference,” he explained. “When my family returned during the revolution, we were considered the enemy and targeted as imperialist sympathizers.”

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