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I Dreamed of Africa Paperback – 2 Apr 1992
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Powerful, poetic, unbearably moving: I wept (Clare Francis)
'This is a book that belongs on a shelf with the memoirs of Olive Schreiner, Elspeth Huxley, Beryl Markham – and with Out of Africa Judith Thurman
Ms Gallmann captures perfectly the magic of Kenya, creating an almost overwhelming picture of beauty and drama, pain and joy, death and resurrection . . . Vividly reminiscent of Isak Dinesen (New York Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
As a child, Kuki Gallmann discovered the singular magic of Africa. As an adult, she emigrates to Africa with her new husband, Paolo, and her son, Emanuele. Although it is the place she has waited for all her life, she never dreamed of the pain, passion, joy and hardship that were hidden in its vast beauty.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product description
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The land that they entered is gone now, but Kuki Gallmann has captured something of its physical beauty and dazzling variety with her wonderful evocations of Kenya at that time, its pristine wilderness, the immense herds of wild animals and the tribal people among whom they were to live, work and die during the ensuing decades.
The loss of her husband in a vehicle collision comes as a rude shock that to some extent shatters the idyll. But I will never be able to reconcile myself with a young boy being allowed to cultivate a close relationship with African snakes in the way other youngsters might do with horses - or rabbits. The 'African Dream' of the book's title becomes the fearful spectacle of a family group in a very foreign environment, sleep-walking towards disaster and when it comes, it is almost too awful to read.
The narrative carries a heavy burden of sadness and of heart-break, of promising lives thwarted, of innocence lost and a magnificent world forever changed.
Well, last year I happen to stay in Loisaba Lodge, Laikipia, adjacent to Mrs. Galman's ranch. What I learnt there about Galmans was not very flattering. On arrival in Kenya, she mostly stayed in Nairobi while her husband managed the farm. She refused to stay in Laikipia. She only moved to the ranch when her husband died. And during making of the film "I Dreamt of Africa", she gave very hard time to the film unit people.
As far as the book is concerned, I would prefer Karen Blixen's "Out Of Arica" over "I Dreamt of Africa". Former is professionally written. Galman's book is like a child writing.
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