2008 Africa Reading Challenge, revised

Pernille’s joined the 2008 Africa Reading Challenge, and her list has me reconsidering mine:

1. The Weekenders, Travels in the Heart of Africa (Southern Sudan)
What would happen if you took some of Britain’s best writing talent, put them on a plane and flew them to one of the most extraordinary and inaccessible places on the planet? What would happen if you took Irvine Welsh from the streets of Edinburgh and showed him a remote, dangerous village in Africa? What would happen if you flew Alex Garland into one of the world’s most hazardous war zones? And how would Tony Hawks react if you dragged him away from his tennis and asked him to write a song with a Sudanese tribesman? With Victoria Glendinning, Andrew O’Hagan, Giles Foden and WF Deedes, these writers have experienced for themselves one of the most beautiful and yet troubled lands in the world – The Sudan.

2. Che in Africa (Congo)
In April 1965, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara left Cuba and mysteriously disappeared, eventually resurfacing in revolutionary Bolivia, where he lived until his assassination in October 1967. Now we know that he spent most of 1965 and 1966 in Central Africa, helping anti-Mobuto revolutionaries in the Republic of Congo. This new volume is a collection of writings from and about those years: fragments of letters he wrote, bits of an unpublished manuscript called Pasajes de la guerra revolucionar!a: Congo (which Che wrote shortly after leaving the Congo), and transcripts of interviews with Che’s compatriots.

Can I do more than six books? How about eight, since yesterday I started re-reading Martin Meredith’s The Fate of Africa? I read the first four chapters of this book before my first trip to Uganda two years ago, but at the time I was trying to write a thesis and plan my post-collegiate life, and it didn’t really grab me. I cracked it open again last night and read chapter five, which talks about Jomo Kenyatta and the Kikuyu role in Kenya’s independence.

Talk about eerily relevant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *