Book number: 91415 Product format: Paperback Author: AIDAN HARTLEY

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Bibliophile price £3.00
Published price £17

A wrenching account of African horrors, particularly those of Somalia and Rwanda but also at the same time a loving and often evocative account of East Africa where the author grew up. Combining literary reportage, memoir, family history and a quest to piece together a decades-old mystery, the book is an enthralling narrative of men and women meddling with, embracing, and ultimately being transformed by other cultures. In his final days, Aidan Hartley's father said to him, 'We should have never come.' Those words spoke of a colonial legacy that stretched back through four generations of one British family - from a great-great grandfather in 19th century New Zealand to his father, a colonial officer sent to Africa who later returned to raise a family there. These were intrepid men who travelled to exotic lands to conquer, build and bear witness. And there is Aidan, who becomes a journalist covering Africa in the 1990s, marked by terror and genocide. After living through and reporting on the violence in Somalia, Uganda and Rwanda, Aidan retreats to his family's house in Kenya where he discovers the Zanzibar chest his father left him. The hand-carved chest contained the diaries of his father's best friend, Peter Davey, who had died under obscure circumstances 50 years earlier. Travelling to Southern Arabia, Hartley embarks on a journey not only to unlock the secrets of Davey's life, but his own. The Oxford educated author now lives on a cattle ranch in Kenya with his family. 475pp, paperback, illus.

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ISBN 9780802125859

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