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Another Day of Life
— —
Ryszard Kapuscinski William Brand
Another Day of Life by Ryszard Kapuscinski at Abbey's Bookshop,

Another Day of Life

Ryszard Kapuscinski William Brand Katarzyna Mrockowska-Brand



Biography: general;
African history;
Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000;
Revolutions, uprisings, rebellions;
Revolutionary groups & movements


176 pages

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In Luanda, the capital of Angola, an apocalyptic atmosphere prevails as the Portuguese residents hurriedly desert the city. Determined to cover events as four hundred years of colonial rule come to an end, Ryszard Kapuscinski hitched a lift on one of the last Portuguese military aircraft flying to Angola. He discovered the terrifying spectacle of a war within the war for national independence- a murderous, messy struggle in which many of the participants can scarcely tell one another apart. Shot through with wit and irony, Kapuscinski's superb account vividly conveys the heat, confusion, fear and unrelenting tension of a country tragically divided by its new freedom. It is one of the truly great pieces of modern reportage.

By:   Ryszard Kapuscinski
Translated by:   William Brand, Katarzyna Mrockowska-Brand
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 10mm
Weight:   134g
ISBN:   9780141186788
ISBN 10:   014118678X
Series:   Penguin Modern Classics
Pages:   176
Publication Date:   July 2001
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Ryszard Kapuscinski was a renowned journalist and writer whose previous books include The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat (which Salman Rushdie called 'an unforgettable, fiercely comic, and finally compassionate book'), The Shadow of the Sun, Shah of Shahs, Imperium and The Soccer War. Allen Lane also publish his last book Travels With Herodotus. He died in January 2007.

A gripping tale of a Polish newspaperman left behind in Luanda, capital of Angola, after the evacuation of the Portuguese in 1975. As everyone in town leaves, including the police and even the dogs, apocalypse seems imminent, but the author remains through impressive intestinal fortitude. Kapuscinski tells his story in telegraphic prose, admirably spare and concise. In fact, the translation preserves a certain Graham Greene flavor, and for a reporter on site, there can be no higher praise. The book's beginning might be the start of a story by Greene: For three months I lived in Luanda, in the Tivoli hotel. Through the dark days, as the people surrounding the author vanish, he continues to send dispatches to Poland. The messages from the machine, typed in upper case, give an added typographical excitement to the book, rather as if the words were being banged out just as we read them. Not only does Kapuscinski keep reportting through all this, he even maintains his journalistic ethics: It's wrong to write about people without living through at least a little of what they are living through, he says. This maxim motivates a jeep ride hair-raising in its danger. The violence expected does not come, but the reporter sweats so much during the ride that a pack-age of cigarettes in his pocket dissolves into a handful of damp hay smelling of nicotine. As the hour of invasion approaches, a deep sense of urgency makes the writing even better, if anything. There is a list of what can be done in an abandoned city on Sunday that is acceptable free verse, capped by the surreal image of a continuous showing of the soft-porn film Emanuelle in a public plaza, with freeze-frame effects by the projectionists. This touch of comedy does not detract from the book's tone of sorrow, encapsulated in the pathetically noble headline of a local newspaper: The hour of truth has arrived! For exciting, evocative, on-the-spot reporting of history in the making, a most vivid choice. (Kirkus Reviews)

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