The Shadow of the Sun, by Ryszard Kapuscinski

I  lived in Africa for several years . . ." The reader will think of Isak Dinesen or Beryl Markham, but these are the words of Polish correspondent Ryszard Kapuscinski, who spent 40 years reporting on a continent that is "too large to describe . . . a veritable ocean, a separate planet, a varied, immensely rich cosmos."

He recalls his first encounter with tropical odors: "Almonds, cloves, dates and cocoa. Vanilla and laurel leaves, oranges and bananas, cardamom and saffron. . . . It is the smell of a sweating body and drying fish, of spoiling meat and roasting cassava, of fresh flowers and putrid algae--in short, of everything that is at once pleasant and irritating, attracts and repels, seduces and disgusts."

 

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