The Shadow of the Sun

Front Cover
Knopf Canada, May 25, 2011 - Political Science - 336 pages
A moving portrait of Africa from Poland's most celebrated foreign correspondent - a masterpiece from a modern master.

Famous for being in the wrong places at just the right times, Ryszard Kapuscinski arrived in Africa in 1957, at the beginning of the end of colonial rule - the "sometimes dramatic and painful, sometimes enjoyable and jubilant" rebirth of a continent. The Shadow of the Sun sums up the author's experiences ("the record of a 40-year marriage") in this place that became the central obsession of his remarkable career.

From the hopeful years of independence through the bloody disintegration of places like Nigeria, Rwanda and Angola, Kapuscinski recounts great social and political changes through the prism of the ordinary African. He examines the rough-and-ready physical world and identifies the true geography of Africa: a little-understood spiritual universe, an African way of being. He looks also at Africa in the wake of two epoch-making changes: the arrival of AIDS and the definitive departure of the white man.

Kapuscinski's rare humanity invests his subjects with a grandeur and a dignity unmatched by any other writer on the Third World, and his unique ability to discern the universal in the particular has never been more powerfully displayed than in this work.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pizzadj2 - LibraryThing

The author seemed to have been present at every major historical event in Africa in the latter half of the 20th century. Really pieced it together well. He was there in a broken down truck in the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - larryerick - LibraryThing

This book was very much like finding a hidden treasure for me. From the very beginning paragraphs, I could already sense something very special. The author had an uncanny ability to let all your ... Read full review


Collision Ghana 1958
The Road to Kumasi
The Structure of the Clan
I a White Man
The Cobras Heart
Inside the Mountain of Ice
Dr Doyle
A Lecture on Rwanda
The Black Crystals of the Night
These People Where Are They?
The Well
A Day in the Village ofAbdallah Wallo
Rising in the Darkness
The Cooling Hell
The Lazy River

The Anatomy ofa Coup dÉtat
My Alleyway 1967
Lalibela 1975
The Ambush
There Shall Be a Holiday
Madame Diuf Is Coming Home
Salt and Gold
Behold the Lord Ridethupon a Swift Cloud
The Hole in Onitsha
Eritrean Scenes
In the Shade of a Tree in Africa

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Ryszard Kapuscinski was born in 1932. During four decades reporting on Asia, Latin America and Africa, he befriended Che Guevera, Salvador Allende and Patrice Lumumba. He witnessed 27 coups and revolutions and was sentenced to death four times. His books have been translated into nineteen languages.

Bibliographic information