African Lives: White Lies, Tropical Truth, Darkest Gossip, and Rumblings of Rumor--From Chinese Gordon to Beryl Markham, and Beyond (Paperback)

White Lies, Tropical Truth, Darkest Gossip, and Rumblings of Rumor--From Chinese Gordon to Beryl Markham, and Beyond

By Denis Boyles

Ballantine Books, 9780345356666, 248pp.

Publication Date: August 26, 1989

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Description

"A fast-paced look at white personalities in Africa, a few well-knowns from the past and a few collected by the author in recent years . . . Denis Boyles knows the territory well."--The New York Times Book Review

In a series of ebullient and evocative portraits, journalist Denis Boyles chronicles the white men and women who journeyed to Africa in the twentieth century, seeking things they couldn't find at home.

Daredevil flyers and dedicated missionaries, intrepid explorers, and charming con men--they all turn up in African Lives. You'll meet General Charles George "Chinese" Gordon, who, as governor of Equatoria in the 1870s, mapped the region, drove out slave traders, and made the area safe for travelers. There is gossip about Beryl Markham and Isak Dinesen, who were legendary rivals in literature and in love. There are also sketches of such colorful figures as Patrick Shaw, the 300-pound "Clint Eastwood" of Kenya, and George Pappas, a self-made millionaire pilot.

Vivid, provocative, and insightful, African Lives is a testimony to the continent's hold on the popular imagination.

"Entertaining . . . jazzy . . . Boyles' prose has a certain cheeky charm, and he spins some good yarns."--The Washington Post


About the Author

Denis Boyles is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, travel, humor, essays, and criticism. He is a veteran magazine editor, and currently a coeditor of The Fortnightly Review. Boyles teaches journalism and political science at the Institut Catholique d'Etudes Superieures in La Roche-sur-Yon, France. www.denisboyles.com
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