The Zanzibar Chest: A Story of Life, Love, and Death in Foreign Lands

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Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 414 pages
93 Reviews
Journalist Aidan Hartley's epic narrative combines the literary reportage of Ryszard Kapuscinski with a historical love story reminiscent of Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient. Hartley is the inheritor of a colonial legacy that stretches back over 150 years. After the ravages he experiences in Ethiopia, Somalia (where three of his friends are torn to pieces by an angry mob), Rwanda, and the Congo, Aidan retreats to his family's house in Kenya where he discovers the Zanzibar chest his father left him. The chest contains the diaries of his father's best friend, Peter Davey, an Englishman who died mysteriously fifty years earlier. Papers in hand, Hartley embarks on a journey to remote southern Arabia to unlock the secrets not only of Davey's life, but of his own. An enthralling narrative of men and women meddling with, embracing, and ultimately being transformed by other cultures, The Zanzibar Chest is one of the most important examinations of colonialism ever written.
  

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Review: The Zanzibar Chest

User Review  - Polly Rosenstein - Goodreads

. It's a war correspondent's tale of coverage in Africa, most notably Somalia and Rwanda as well as the wars in the Balkans. Exciting, scary and horrifying as well as thought provoking and well-written. Read full review

Review: The Zanzibar Chest

User Review  - Annie Shapiro - Goodreads

This book offered some amazing perspective on what occurred in Northeast Africa during the 1980s and 1990s. However, two things about the book made me not appreciate it as much as I was hoping I would ... Read full review

Contents

BEYOND THE RIVERS OF ETHIOPIA
3
JOURNALIST PLUS PLUS
71
THE ZANZIBAR CHEST
133
FEEDING THE BEAST
155
GOING NATIVE
225
THE SOUND OF FREEDOM IN THE AIR
259
EMPTY QUARTER
305
LAZARUS
323
ONE MOMENT OF THE WELL OF LIFE TO TASTE
383
1
411
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About the author (2003)

Aidan Hartley was born in 1965. He lives in Kenya with his wife and two children.

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