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The Zanzibar Chest: A Memoir of Love and War Hardcover – 21 Jul 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition First Printing edition (21 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002570599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002570596
  • Package Dimensions: 23.9 x 15.7 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 845,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


‘A masterpiece.This is a hugely ambitious book, a history of his family’s involvement with Africa over 70 years … riveting.’ Matthew Leeming, The Spectator

‘He captures brilliantly the voracity of the global media and is only too aware of his own role in ‘feeding the beast’. The life of war correspondent is well chronicled: fear, disgust and adrenaline pervade Hartley’s writing as he describes their doings…he leaves the reader with a mesmerising portrait of his beloved Africa’s unhappy squalor.’ Charlie Campbell, Time Out

‘A powerful blend of family history and war correspondent’s memoir…searing, deeply instructive memoir.’Anthony Daniels, Sunday Telegraph

'A lyrical, passionate memoir of this dark continent. On the surface, Hartley's book professes to explore why his father and so many other Englishmen of his generation turned time and time again to Africa. Its real aim is far more ambitious: to explore the motives of many generations of white people – good and bad, but mostly confused – who have washed up on Africa's wilder shores of love. His judgement of the foreign politicians who have involved themselves in the continent is tough without being hysterical. And he has a sure pen for character… he writes best about the dichotemies within himself – his ache for Africa, his rage at its horrors, his longing for peace' The Economist

‘Aidan Hartley's heartbreaking love affair with Africa shines through in this stunning memoir…the result is a breathtaking work, an epic part-autobiography, part-biography. As he unravels Davey's story, Hartley turns out passages of aching beauty which will invite comparisons with that other desert love story, Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient. Hartley's engagement with his central character is so rich in detail and affection that the pages slip by far too fast.' The Scotsman

From the Publisher

Aidan Hartley is a brilliant young writer in the style of award-winners Dalrymple, Maclean and Marsden.

* Shortlisted for the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction.

* This book is a spiritual memoir, a fascinating travel journal and a work of riveting history - a non fiction The English Patient.

* Includes an informative and fascinating PS section with an author profile and essay by Hartley's fellow journalist in Africa, Johnathan Clayton.

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on 15 March 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
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on 11 September 2003
Format: Hardcover
0Comment| 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 November 2003
Format: Hardcover
0Comment| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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