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Across the Red River: Rwanda, Burundi and the Heart of Darkness


Jennings, Christian
Across the Red River: Rwanda, Burundi and the Heart of Darkness
ISBN: 0575062525
Book Number: 28052
Gollancz 2000 8vo hardcover 350pp, b/w illus. good, wear to bottom edge / good d/w with wear to bottom edge. Christian Jennings is not a man to rest on his laurels. Not content with the rigours of the French Foreign Legion (documented in his first book, A Mouthful of Rocks, he flew to Rwanda in August 1994 with a rucksack of provisions, The Day of the Jackal, and a self-confessed ignorance of the country beyond the knowledge that 850,000 people had just been slaughtered in brutal acts of genocide. Also, he had a television producer on her way who wanted to find the people responsible within the five-day span of her trip. Apart from the miraculous completion of that programme, the other thing to emerge from this immersion into the landscape of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, was a fascination with Central Africa that saw Jennings return again and again. He was to report for Sunday Telegraph and Reuters in Rwanda, its sibling-in-horror Burundi, and the former Zaire with fearful bravery, but in the impressive Across the Red River he navigates the territory between reportage and memoir. Cleverly matching his learning curve to the reader's, he moves from his virtual ignorance of Rwanda and its mesh of tragedy to a deeper understanding of the weave and durability of that net, achieved with a flowing and refreshing candour. If there are two lines of war journalism, with writers such as Michael Ignatieff providing a more intellectual overview from the hills, Christian Jennings is on the frontline with souls such as Maggie O'Kane, Eve-Ann Prentice and Anthony Loyd. As with the latter's My War Gone By, I Miss It So, Jennings is able to unbridle his sense of self to stirring effect and show the mundane tedium as well as the brutal tension of reporting from, and surviving in, war. Occasionally angry, more often darkly funny, his book proves an unsettling yet riveting critique of the unimaginable effects of genocide, those who feed off its corpse and the few, like Jennings, who live to open our eyes. --David Vincent nn Book Descriptionn A devastating account of the Central African nightmare, in the tradition of Anyone Here Been Raped and Speaks English and We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families
Keywords: Society Politics Philosophy History Across the Red River Rwanda Burundi and the Heart of Darkness Jennings Christian
Price: $12.00