The Zanzibar Chest

The Zanzibar Chest

A Story of Life, Love, and Death in Foreign Lands

Book - 2003
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Weaving together stories, his family's history, and his childhood in Africa, Hartley tells what he saw. "The Zanzibar Chest" is an enthralling narrative of men and women meddling with, embracing, and being transformed by other cultures in one of the most important examinations of colonialism ever written.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, c2003
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780871138712
Branch Call Number: 967.00971241 Har
Characteristics: 414 p. : ill


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Oct 25, 2012

This autobiography is primarily an account of this wire service journalist's experiences in Ethiopia, Somalia and Rwanda in the late 8os through 1996. But the book is also a family memoir and an account of the death of a close friend of his father in colonial Aden Protectorate. Unfortunately these interwoven themes lead to an over 400 page book that may be hard to follow. The journalist is probably debilitated by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the extreme violence he sees on these assignments. This personal account offers often startling information about what was happening in these conflicts that didn't make it onto the pages of Western newspapers and TV screens.

anniemurray May 25, 2012

I can't recommend this book highly enough. There is a wonderful feeling of magical realism and romance to Hartley's writing about his family history. Combined with his perceptions of the stark reality of the actual political and social conditions in east Africa in the 1990s makes for a page-turner. I have read this book over and over.

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