(R250, Porcupine Press)
Award-winning South African writer David Robbins has been producing investigative journalism, fiction and travel writing for 30 years. His latest publication, Searching Africa, is a hefty collection that charts his progress through 22 countries in sub-Saharan, East, Central and Northwest Africa. The first half of the collection was published in 1995 as Aspects of Africa, while most of the rest of the book (save for a few final pages of updated facts and figures) is written about Robbins’ travels in 1996 and 1997.
It’s certainly a masterful collection, easily compared to some of the best classic travel journalism at the time and even today. It’s difficult to know how much to trust the vivid slices of life – not because they’re not true, but because a lot can change on a continent in 20 years, especially one as mutable as Africa. Still, it speaks to Robbins’ wonderfully polished style and measured, clear-eyed approach that the material is as readable and insightful as ever.
This book was reviewed by Gaby Stadler.