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The Flame Trees of Thika: Memories of an African Childhood (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) Paperback – 24 Feb 2000
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About the Author
Elspeth Huxley was born in 1907 and spent most of her childhood in Kenya. She wrote novels, detective fiction, biographies, and travel books. She died in 1997.
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This is an exceptional memoir and well worth reading as a literary work as well as for those interested in this part of African and colonial history.
Written a decade after Karen Blixen's Out of Africa, it deals with the same place, but a shorter time frame (colonial Kenya 1912-14). It tells the same story of sublime moments, effort and ultimate defeat but it is Huxley's (as a child) fascination and intelligent exploration of her new world that is so utterly compelling and honest. It's a tragedy that books as well-written as this one seem to have gone out of style. It is regarded as a classic, and teenagers would surely love it, so why is it not recommended reading in schools? Read it yourself and you will probably see why . . .
Kate Nivison, Woodford Green.
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