A poweful, well-researched country-by-country summary of the months between December 2010 and early 2012, alongside their reverberations in the White House. Lynch places an emphasis on pop culture and the effects of television, the internet and the mobile phone in countries formerly accustomed to strict censorship.
As he turns 80 this year, Chinua Achebe publishes a collection of 16 essays on growing up in colonial Nigeria. He speaks fondly of a British education, while meditating on the damage inflicted by colonialism and the state of his post-colonial homeland.
Barnaby Rogerson had edited this delectable book from the reliable Eland publishing house. Contains extracts by Esther Freud, Edith Wharton and George Orwell. Wonderful choice for holiday reading and a literary way to get to know the city.
This is the memoir of Alexandra Fuller, a young girl growing up in an extraordinary family in violent, 1970s Rhodesia. Steeped in a passion for Africa and told with courage, honesty and humour, it is highly recommended.
A gripping yet disheartening biography of Kenyan whistle-blower John Githongo, the man appointed by Kibaki's government to tackle corruption and was then flummoxed at every turn by a civil servants concerned with lining their own pockets.
Pieced together from diaries and letters written in the early 20th century, Christina Lamb narrates the story of Stewart Gore-Browne, a man who tried to build the perfect English estate on the edge of a Zambian lake. From whimsical ambitions to his unconventional love life, Lamb has brought her subject and his curious story to life.
A compelling memoir from journalist Peter Godwin about an idyllic African childhood during the 1960s, surviving the brutal civil war and returning as an adult to an independent Zimbabwe. Described by Doris Lessing as "an informative book, full of history, [which] should be in the library of anyone interested in southern Africa."
This is both the sequel and the prequel to fuller's highly-acclaimed memoir, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight. It tells the story of her mother's arrival in Rhodesia, her experiences during the Civil War, and her life now in the Zambezi Valley.
Rian Malan is the descendent of the Prime Minister Daniel Francois Malan, one of the founding builders of apartheid. He fled South Africa in 1977 but returned in 1985 to face his past, his conscience and to write this book.
Andre Aciman's poignant memoir about his flamboyant Jewish family and their life in Alexandria until they were forced to leave in 1964. He weaves in anecdotes about his Uncle Villi the spy, his deaf mother and Aunt Flora the German refugee, with poetic descriptions of the city that he loves. Heartfelt, moving and steeped in nostalgia.
Now quite rightly regarded as a masterpiece, Reader's massive and magnificent continental history begins with geological roots and concludes with political strife. In between he provides a thorough and illuminating account, challenging many misconceptions, that will appeal to experts and newcomers alike.
This powerful and clear-sighted book addresses with fiery vigour the depredation of African wildlife and the landscapes it inhabits. From pygmy elephants in the Congo Basin to peacocks in Zaire, Matthiessen covers considerable ground in sparse yet lyrical prose. Terrific.
Philip Gourevitch, journalist and editor of the Paris Review, took the title of this book from a note that was sent from a persecuted Tutsi pastor to his Church president. This collection of real-life stories from survivors of the Rwandan genocide is as human, heartbreaking and intricately researched. Highly recommended.
Well written, accessible general history with less academic credentials than that of Harold Marcus but the better choice for those who appreciate narrative verve. In passing, we recommend also his "Ethiopian Journeys".