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.


Recommended reading

Butcher, T.  2011. Chasing the Devil: On Foot Through Africa’s Killing Fields. London: Vintage.

Greene, G. 2002. Journey Without Maps. London: Vintage.

Greene, G. 1999. A Sort of Life. London: Vintage.

Greene, R. 2008. Graham Greene: A Life in Letters. London: Abacus.

Sherry, N. 2004. The Life of Graham Greene, Volumes 1–3. London: Jonathan Cape


Date: 20 January  Venue: LT1, Kramer Law Building
Time:  1.00–3.00 pm
COURSE FEES Full: R205,00   Staff: R100,00  Reduced: R55,00