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The Zanzibar Chest - A Memoir of Love and War (Paperback, New ed) Loot Price: R176
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The Zanzibar Chest - A Memoir of Love and War (Paperback, New ed): Aidan Hartley
The Zanzibar Chest - A Memoir of Love and War (Paperback, New ed): Aidan Hartley

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The Zanzibar Chest - A Memoir of Love and War (Paperback, New ed)

Aidan Hartley

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List price R243 Loot Price R176 Discovery Miles 1 760 You Save R67 (28%)

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Raised by British parents in East Africa, former Reuters correspondent Hartley chronicles a decade of encounters with the world's bloodiest conflicts and considers the twisted legacy of colonialism through the microcosm of his own family. Not for the squeamish, these accounts of Ethiopia, Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and other conflicts seethe with shocking and grisly consequences often wrought, in the author's view, by the "one-size-fits-all solutions" imposed by well-intentioned but clueless Western power structures. United Nations peacekeepers are portrayed as effete by design (undermanned, underequipped, etc.), spooked in fog-of-war conditions, and when left to their own devices occasionally capable of barbarities that mimic the African adversaries they are supposed to buffer. American efforts in Somalia are viewed as typically cynical, exploiting technological superiority to gain PR or political benefit, but almost always arriving too late and leaving too soon, with neither concern for nor full comprehension of the inevitable aftermath. Food drops left unguarded in starving villages, for example, are simply commandeered by the local warlords who rule by terror. Hartley's m.o. is to recount the impact of these revelations on his own psyche, along with his rationalizations, yearnings, and compensations practiced in the company of likeminded "hacks": foreign correspondents who regularly drink, drug, and fornicate to excess in the name of requisite therapy. They are mostly runaways, he postulates, "from emotional distress at home, divorce, bereavement, career burnout, boredom, or simply themselves." As most of his close companions become casualties, an intermittently persistent love affair with a young American photographer provides the obligatory passionate interludes that punctuate the horror. His native's perspective on African affairs enhances the narrative, although a habitual barrage of corroborating details-no projectile breaks a window without notation of its probable caliber-sometimes doesn't. Overall, morbid and engaging. (Kirkus Reviews)
A deeply affecting memoir of a childhood in Africa and the continent's horrendous wars, which Hartley witnessed at first hand as a journalist in the 1990s. Shortlisted for the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction, this is a masterpiece of autobiographical journalism. Aidan Hartley, a foreign correspondent, burned-out from the horror of covering the terrifying micro wars of the 1990s, from Rwanda to Bosnia, seeks solace and solitude in the remote mountains and deserts of southern Arabia and the Yemen, following his father's death. While there, he finds himself on the trail of the tragic story of an old friend of his father's, who fell in love and was murdered in southern Arabia fifty years ago. As the terrible events of the past unfold, Hartley finds his own kind of deliverance. `The Zanzibar Chest' is a powerful story about a man witnessing and confronting extreme violence and being broken down by it, and of a son trying to come to terms with the death of a father whom he also saw as his best friend. It charts not only a love affair between two people, but also the British love affair with Arabia and the vast emptinesses of the desert, which become a fitting metaphor for the emotional and spiritual condition in which Hartley finds himself.


Imprint: HarperPerennial
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Release date: February 2004
First published: June 2004
Authors: Aidan Hartley
Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 30mm (L x W x T)
Format: Paperback - B-format
Pages: 501
Edition: New ed
ISBN-13: 978-0-00-653121-0
Barcode: 9780006531210
Categories: Books > Sport & Leisure > Travel & holiday > Travel writing
Books > Travel > Travel writing
Books > Travel > Travel writing > General
Books > Sport & Leisure > Travel & holiday > Travel writing > General
Books > Language & Literature > Biography & autobiography
Books > Biography
Books > Biography > General
Books > Language & Literature > Biography & autobiography > General
LSN: 0-00-653121-0

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