Asmara is the capital of Eritrea - a surreally Italian city at the centre of an ex-Italian colony that has been at war with its neighbour Ethiopia (who claim sovereignty over Eritrea) for over ten years. Amidst broken palaces (built by the late Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie), nomadic desert encampments and war-torn towns, Hill found a god-fearing people remarkably resistant to everything fate has thrown at them. This book is a tribute to their resilience and will stand beside Philip Gouravitch's Rwandan book, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT TOMORROW YOU WILL BE KILLED WITH YOUR FAMILIES, as a classic account of contemporary Africa.
Justin Hill was born in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island in 1971 and was brought up in York. He was educated at England's oldest school - St Peter's, York (founded 627 AD), and studied Medieval Literature at St Cuthbert's Society, Durham University.
Justin worked for seven years as a volunteer with VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) in rural China and Eritrea, East Africa. Interviewers have likened him to George Orwell, a boxer, and Tolstoy.
The Independent on Sunday listed as one of the UK's Top Twenty Young British Writers in 2002. His vivid depictions of his experiences in fiction and travelogues have been acclaimed both at home and internationally, as well as being banned by the Chinese government. He has won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Betty Trask Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. His work has been shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and the Encore Award.
He is currently writing the Conquest Series: which covers the events around the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Shieldwall, the first of these, was a Sunday Times Book of the Year.
For more information see www.justinhillauthor.com
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