African Madness

Alex Shoumatoff, Author Alfred A. Knopf $18.95 (202p) ISBN 978-0-394-56914-7
On numerous trips to Africa, Shoumatoff, a staff writer for the New Yorker , found havoc everywhere. In Uganda, Zaire and Guinea-Bissau, the AIDS epidemicspread mainly by heterosexual intercoursehas been met with suicides and denial. In the island nation of Madagascar, environmental catastrophe threatens a lush tropical paradise. Shoumatoff ( In Southern Light , Russian Blood ) flew to the Central African Republic expecting to refute rumors that homicidal ex-emperor Jean-Bedel Bohassa practiced cannibalism; instead he found evidence that the deposed psychotic and sex maniac ate his own people. The remaining piece in this tapestry of four articles (originally published in Vanity Fair and the New Yorker ) is a profile of gorilla expert Dian Fossey, murdered in 1985. He discovered that the gutsy feminist primatologist called the natives ``woggiepoos'' and probably tortured poachers. Shoumatoff's love of the African continent, its fertile potential and enchantment, pulsates through these engaging pieces. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 202 pages - 978-0-679-72545-9
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