1041 THE QUIET AFRICAN: GRAHAM GREENE'S LIFELONG LOVE AFFAIR WITH AFRICA
Tim Butcher, author
Graham Greene, storyteller supreme of twentieth-century English literature, left behind a body of work famously framed by place, whether it be Mexico, Vietnam, the Caribbean or beyond. Yet the thread running through the richest of writing careers was a passion for Africa, in particular, his love for Africa’s absence of artifice, its purity both of good and evil. In this two-hour lecture, Greene’s lifelong affair with the continent will be unravelled: from his first foray outside Europe in 1935 when he almost lost his life trekking recklessly across Liberia, to hapless wartime service as a spy in Sierra Leone, to a Congo river research expedition to an equatorial leprosy colony in the 1950s and his eventual 1960s taming by the love of his life, a woman he met in Africa. An area left blank by Greene’s biographers, his exploration of apartheid-era South Africa and his response to it, will be illumined. And, as with all good African stories, there is a Cape Town leg, in Greene’s case one that is whisky-steeped, shapely and colourful.
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