Another Day of LifePaperback
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- Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
- Format: Paperback | 176 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 12mm | 118g
- Publication date: 1 May 2010
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 014118678X
- ISBN 13: 9780141186788
- Illustrations note: map
- Sales rank: 44,671
'This is a very personal book, about being alone and lost'. In 1975 Kapuscinski's employers sent him to Angola to cover the civil war that had broken out after independence. For months he watched as Luanda and then the rest of the country collapsed into a civil war that was in the author's words 'sloppy, dogged and cruel'. In his account, Kapuscinski demonstrates an extraordinary capacity to describe and to explain the individual meaning of grand political abstractions.
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Ryszard Kapuscinski was a renowned journalist and writer whose previous books include The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat (which Salman Rushdie called 'an unforgettable, fiercely comic, and finally compassionate book'), The Shadow of the Sun, Shah of Shahs, Imperium and The Soccer War. Allen Lane also publish his last book Travels With Herodotus. He died in January 2007.
?Despite Kapuscinski's insistence that 'the image of war is not communicable.' He has done just that and done it very well. "Newsweek"
A gripping tale of a Polish newspaperman left behind in Luanda, capital of Angola, after the evacuation of the Portuguese in 1975. As everyone in town leaves, including the police and even the dogs, apocalypse seems imminent, but the author remains through impressive intestinal fortitude. Kapuscinski tells his story in telegraphic prose, admirably spare and concise. In fact, the translation preserves a certain Graham Greene flavor, and for a reporter on site, there can be no higher praise. The book's beginning might be the start of a story by Greene: "For three months I lived in Luanda, in the Tivoli hotel." Through the dark days, as the people surrounding the author vanish, he continues to send dispatches to Poland. The messages from the machine, typed in upper case, give an added typographical excitement to the book, rather as if the words were being banged out just as we read them. Not only does Kapuscinski keep reportting through all this, he even maintains his journalistic ethics: "It's wrong to write about people without living through at least a little of what they are living through," he says. This maxim motivates a jeep ride hair-raising in its danger. The violence expected does not come, but the reporter sweats so much during the ride that a pack-age of cigarettes in his pocket dissolves into "a handful of damp hay smelling of nicotine." As the hour of invasion approaches, a deep sense of urgency makes the writing even better, if anything. There is a list of what can be done in an abandoned city on Sunday that is acceptable free verse, capped by the surreal image of a continuous showing of the soft-porn film Emanuelle in a public plaza, with freeze-frame effects by the projectionists. This touch of comedy does not detract from the book's tone of sorrow, encapsulated in the pathetically noble headline of a local newspaper: "The hour of truth has arrived!" For exciting, evocative, on-the-spot reporting of history in the making, a most vivid choice. (Kirkus Reviews)
Ryszard Kapuscinski is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century's preeminent journalists, demonstrating an almost mystical ability to discover the odd or overlooked and incorporating these sometimes surreal details into narratives that go beyond mere reportage and enter the realm of literature. Another Day of Life" is Kapuscinski's dramatic account of the three months he spent in Angola at the beginning of its decades' long civil war. The capital, Luanda, is occupied only by those not fortunate enough to flee. When even the dogs abandoned by the Europeans leave, Kapuscinski decides to go to the front, where the wrong greeting could cost your life and where young soldiers-from Cuba, Russia, South Africa, Portugal-are fighting a war with global repercussions. With harrowing detail, Kapuscinski shows us the peculiar brutality of a country divided by its newfound freedom. Translated from the Polish by William R. Brand and Katarzyna Mroczkowska-Brand.