The Shadow of the Sun
A moving portrait of Africa from Poland’s most celebrated foreign correspondent – a masterpiece from a modern master.
Famous for being in the wrong places at just the right times, Ryszard Kapuscinski arrived in Africa in 1957, at the beginning of the end of colonial rule – the “sometimes dramatic and painful, sometimes enjoyable and jubilant” rebirth of a continent. The Shadow of the Sun sums up the author’s experiences (“the record of a 40-year marriage”) in this place that became the central obsession of his remarkable career.
From the hopeful years of independence through the bloody disintegration of places like Nigeria, Rwanda and Angola, Kapuscinski recounts great social and political changes through the prism of the ordinary African. He examines the rough-and-ready physical world and identifies the true geography of Africa: a little-understood spiritual universe, an African way of being. He looks also at Africa in the wake of two epoch-making changes: the arrival of AIDS and the definitive departure of the white man.
Kapuscinski’s rare humanity invests his subjects with a grandeur and a dignity unmatched by any other writer on the Third World, and his unique ability to discern the universal in the particular has never been more powerfully displayed than in this work.