Ultimatum


by Landeg White
Cinnamon Press 2017
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January, 1890 — Britain threatens Portugal with an Ultimatum: Abandon south-east Africa or face a naval bombardment of Lisbon.

Three centuries earlier, the poet, Luís Vaz de Camões, described the region at issue —

Behold the lake which is the Nile’s source.
And the green Zambezi, too, begins its course.

Further upstream, the river becomes serpentine, twisting itself into a vast swamp, known to Europeans as Elephant Marsh, choked with papyrus, monstrous baobabs, and marabou storks like coffins. Every mud bank has a gang of crocodiles, the air thick with mosquitoes and the nearest horizon a tousled fringe of swamp palms…

Could the European Powers go to War over such a Wilderness?

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Livingstone’s Funeral

livingstones_funeral

by Landeg White
Cinnamon Press 2010

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Maria begins to piece together her family history during a dull Christmas visit to her grandmother after buying an African carving that she can’t resist. Discovering that Caroline, the long-suffering colonial wife whose letters are still kept, was not her great-grandmother, Maria begins a journey that pieces together the disparate narratives of this rich and intelligent novel, drawing together ‘people who cared not for nation or tribe but for the infinitely varied networks that were our common inheritance.’

An epic, yet intensely personal story of one young woman’s search for identity, revealing that ancestry is not always as it seems.

Reviews

“The novel is a rich, informative, sometimes alarming and often moving account … generous and perceptive … post-post colonial in the ironies and sympathies it has available for almost all its characters. A novel of confidence and subtlety.”

Stephen Knight


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Inspector Tucker and the Leopard Men

inspector_tucker

by Landeg White
This book is now available as a free download (PDF).

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Two people have been murdered in Sierra Leone in what appear to be acts of ritual cannibalism. They are the nephew of the Minister for Natural Resources, and a girl with the American Peace Corps. To his horror, Detective Inspector-Eustace Tucker, a Freetown Creole addicted to Jane Austen, is put in charge of the case.

He has never been ‘up country’, and by the end of an investigation involving witchcraft, diamond smuggling and the looming elections, he has come to appreciate more than he believed possibly about the country of his birth.

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