Welcome to Travel Readings
Melbourne: The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
Books, Movies and Beyond…
Books, Movies and Beyond…: Washington, DC and New York
Books, Movies and Beyond…: Rome
Rio de Janeiro: Crimes of August (Agosto) by Rubem Fonseca
Istanbul: The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk
Liège (Belgium): Pedigree by Georges Simenon
Books, Movies and Beyond…: Lisbon
Books, Movies and Beyond…: Cambodia
Hyde Park, Chicago: Ravelstein by Saul Bellow
Paris: Flowers of Ruin and Suspended Sentences by Patrick Modiano
Books, Movies and Beyond…: Naples
Books, Movies and Beyond…: Tanzania
Sri Lanka: Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje
Books, Movies and Beyond… : Venice
Dublin: The Dead by James Joyce
Books, Movies and Beyond: Iran
Santa Cruz, Bolivia: The Matter of Desire (Materia del Deseo) by Edmundo Paz Soldán
Books, Movies and Beyond: Syria
Djibouti: Passage of Tears (Passage des Larmes) by Abdourahman Waberi
Books, Movies and Beyond: Armenia
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: The Parachute Drop by Norbert Zongo
Bangkok: Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap
Périgord, France: The Caves of Périgord by Martin Walker
Books, Movies and Beyond: Brussels
Naples: The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante
Books, Movies and Beyond: Rio de Janeiro
Tajikistan: Hurramabad by Andrei Volos
New-York: City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg
Israel and Palestine: To the End of the Land by David Grossman and Wild Thorns by Sahar Khalifeh
Books, Movies and Beyond: Bavaria and Southern Germany
Cape Town: Boyhood, Youth and Summertime by J.M. Coetzee
Books, Movies and Beyond: India
Blue Ridge Mountains: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Books, Movies and Beyond: Algeria
Austrian Alps: A Whole Life (Ein ganzes Leben) by Robert Seethaler
Books, Movies and Beyond: Africans in America
Zimbabwe: The Last Resort by Douglas Rogers
Books, Movies and Beyond: Colombia
Belgian Ardennes: The All Saints’ Day Lovers by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Côte d’Ivoire: Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie
Japan: Haruki Murakami and Amélie Nothomb
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and The Rope and The Denial of Saint Peter by Charles Baudelaire
Books, Movies and Beyond: Cairo
Vancouver: What is Remembered by Alice Munro
Ghent (Belgium): War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans
Haiti: An Aroma of Coffee and Dining with the Dictator by Dany Laferrière and The Comedians by Graham Greene
Iceland: Jar City by Arnaldur Indriðason
Siena and Tuscany : Il Palio delle contrade morte by Fruttero & Lucentini and The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
China : Wild Swans. Three Daughters of China, by Jung Chang
Amsterdam: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris
Former Soviet Union: The Unwomanly Face of War  by Svetlana Alexievich
Provence: The Horseman on the Roof by Jean Giono, La charrette bleue by René Barjavel, Madame de Sévigné and Ventoux by Bert Wagendorp
Moscow: The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and Limonov by Emmanuel Carrère
Books, Movies and Beyond: Vietnam
Books, Movies and Beyond: The Wars in Vietnam

Books, Movies and Beyond…: Tanzania

Patricia asked for some reading suggestions about Tanzania. Ernest Hemingway has two famous short stories and one autobiographical story which take place in Tanzania, at the time of the great African safaris, a bygone era when the “big five” were still hunted…and when posing in front of your hunting trophies did not cause too much uproar.



The first short story is “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” considered as one of Hemingway’s masterpieces. It doesn’t describe the ascent of the highest mountain in Africa. An American writer, injured during a hunt in one of the plains below the snow-capped summit, is ruminating on his life and his career. The injury gets infected, the rescue plane is late and the writer starts losing his bearings.


« The snows of Kilimanjaro » inspired a movie from the 50s with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner. I haven’t seen it, but it seems a little bit outdated.

The title also inspired a French song in the 60’s. A little bit kitsch, but famous in France.

« The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber » is another African short story by Hemingway, an excellent one about lion hunting, about cowardice, courage and domestic conflict, all recurring themes in the author’s work.



It was adapted in Hollywood in 1947 in a movie starring Gregory Peck.



Finally, « Green Hills of Africa » is autobiographical and mixes the description of the safari that Hemingway and his wife Pauline are making around Lake Manyara in Tanzania and exchanges about European and American literatures. The story follows the long pursuit of kudus and the importance of bringing more spectacular trophies than Karl, the other hunter sharing the camp site.



Before World War I, Tanzania was a colony of the German Empire while Kenya was administered by the British Crown. British novelist William Boyd, selected by the Fleming family to continue the James Bond’ series (« Solo »), wrote a wonderful novel « An Ice-Cream War » covering that period. It describes the war as experienced, at first in a very careless fashion and then as a tragedy, by British and German soldiers and by the settlers families on both sides of the border.


I am finishing these reading suggestions for a trip to Tanzania by « The Last Gift », a novel by Abdulrazak Gurnah, a writer born in Zanzibar but living in the UK. I liked very much this book which mainly takes place in England, in Norwich and Exeter, but has its origin and founding event in Zanzibar. Through the prism of an immigrant family in Great-Britain, the author evokes very subtly the sacrifices but also the secrets that are linking two generations.




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