The Zanzibar Chest: A Memoir of Love and War

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9780002570596: The Zanzibar Chest: A Memoir of Love and War
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Hartley, an acclaimed frontline reporter who covered the atrocities of 1990s Africa, embarks on a journey to unlock the mysteries and secrets of his own family's 150-year-colonial legacy in Africa. A beautiful, sometimes harrowing memoir of intrepid young men cut down in their prime, of forbidden love and its fatal consequences, and of family and history. and the collision of cultures over the enduring course of British colonialism in Africa that defined them both.

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About the Author:

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

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

In the corner of the veranda was a Zanzibar chest, carved with a skill modern Swahili carpenters have forgotten. The old camphor box bore a design of lotus, paisley, and pineapple, and was studded with rivets tarnished green in the salty air. When I opened the chest lid, cobwebs tore and something scuttled into a corner.

Inside one box file were my father’s hand-written memoirs on which he had been working for years. I opened a second file and reached down to grasp the pages. The instant I touched them they began to crumble in my hands. Time, heat, and the drenching humidity had ravaged them. Mildew dusted the covers, giving off that scent of the forgotten.

I quickly realized I had stumbled on a secret that had been buried for half a century. Here were the diaries of the man named Peter Davey, my father’s good friend. Ever since I was a boy, the story of Davey crept in and out of conversation at home in vague, half-finished sentences. The tale had always been there, yet my father never properly talked about it. Davey was a silence, a shadow that moved constantly out of the corner of one’s eye. And now, as if it had been deliberately dropped into my lap, was the full and tragic rendition of Davey’s life.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781594480119: The Zanzibar Chest

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1594480117 ISBN 13:  9781594480119
Publisher: Riverhead Books, 2004
Softcover

9780871138712: The Zanzibar Chest: A Story of Life, Love, and Death in Foreign Lands

Atlant..., 2003
Hardcover

9780006531210: The Zanzibar Chest: A Memoir of Love and War

Harper..., 2004
Softcover

9780802125859: The Zanzibar Chest: A Story of Life, Love, and Death in Foreign Lands

Grove ..., 2016
Softcover

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