The Shadow Of The Sun: My African Life by Ryszard Kapuscinski

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Polish writer and foreign correspondent Ryszard Kapuscinski may be in the twilight of a golden career spanning more than 40 years but The Shadow of the Sun, an alternative record of his experiences of Africa and its stupefying white heat, is perhaps his finest hour. This for a writer who, to echo the sentiments of Michael Ignatieff, has turned reportage into literature. Drawn to the Developing World through an impoverished wartime upbringing, Kapuscinski arrived in Ghana in 1957 and was on hand to witness the tumultuous years in which colonial Africa was dismantled, resulting in born-again countries ripe for ransacking by despots. From the glare of Accra airport which greets him on first arrival, to the Tanzanian night of the final pages, he crosses savannah, desert and city by foot, road and train, searching out the two most important, yet inconstant commodities on the continent: shade and water. Threatened by an Egyptian cobra, cursed with cerebral malaria and tuberculosis, plagued by black cockroaches the size of small turtles, Kapuscinski intermingles the immediate and the reflective in 29 satisfyingly fragmented vignettes, encompassing historical narratives and personal experience across a host of countries, including Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria, Sudan and Liberia.

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The Soccer War by Ryszard Kapuscinski

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In 1964, renowned reporter Ryszard Kapuscinski was appointed by the Polish Press Agency as its only foreign correspondent, and for the next ten years he was ‘responsible’ for fifty countries. He befriended Che Guevara in Bolivia, Salvador Allende in Chile and Patrice Lumumba in the Congo. He reported on the fighting that broke out between Honduras and El Salvador in 1969 after their matches to determine which one of them would qualify for the 1970 World Cup. By the time, he returned to Poland he had witnessed twenty-seven revolutions and coups and been sentenced to death four times. “The Soccer War” is Kapuscinski’s story, his eyewitness account of the emergence of the Third World.
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