The Zanzibar Chest: A Memoir of Love and War

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9780002570596: The Zanzibar Chest: A Memoir of Love and War

Hartley, an acclaimed frontline reporter who covered the atrocities of 1990s Africa, embarks on a journey to unlock the mysteries and secrets of his own family's 150-year-colonial legacy in Africa. A beautiful, sometimes harrowing memoir of intrepid young men cut down in their prime, of forbidden love and its fatal consequences, and of family and history. and the collision of cultures over the enduring course of British colonialism in Africa that defined them both.

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About the Author:

Aidan Hartley was born in 1965. He lives in Kenya with his wife and two children.

From Publishers Weekly:

Toward the end of this mesmerizing chronicle, Hartley writes simply of Rwanda, "Like everything in Africa, the truth [is] somewhere in between." Hartley appreciates this complexity, mining the accounts that constitute his book not for the palliative but for the redemptive. Born in 1965 in Kenya into a long lineage of African colonialists, Hartley feels, like his father whose story he also traces, a magnetic, almost inexplicable pull to remain in Africa. Hartley's father imports modernity to the continent (promoting irrigation systems and sophisticated husbandry); later, Hartley himself "exports" Africa as a foreign correspondent for Reuters. Both men struggle to find moral imperatives as "foreigners" native to a continent still emerging from colonialism. Hartley's father concludes, "We should never have come here," and Hartley himself appears understandably beleaguered by the horrors he witnesses (and which he describes impressively) covering Ethiopia, Somalia and Rwanda. Emotionally shattered by the genocide in the latter ("Rwanda sits like a tumour leaking poison into the back of my head"), the journalist returns to his family home in Kenya, where he happens upon the diary of Peter Davey, his father's best friend, in the chest of the book's title. Hartley travels to the Arabian Peninsula to trace Davey's mysterious death in 1947, a story he weaves into the rest of his narrative. The account of Davey, while the least engaging portion of the book, provides Hartley with a perspective for grappling with the legacy that haunts him. This book is a sweeping, poetic homage to Africa, a continent made vivid by Hartley's capable, stunning prose.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Aidan Hartley
Published by HarperCollins (2003)
ISBN 10: 0002570599 ISBN 13: 9780002570596
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
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Book Description HarperCollins, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0002570599

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