The Ukimwi Road: From Kenya to Zimbabwe

Dervla Murphy, Author, Dervla Murphey, Author Overlook Press $22.95 (290p) ISBN 978-0-87951-556-0
A brave and thoughtful Irishwoman, 60-ish Murphy (Transylvania and Beyond) specializes in treks through remote regions. Here she recounts a 3000-mile, four-month bicycle ride through southern Africa, at first seeking a ``carefree ramble'' but soon learning that most of her planned route included the region's ukimwi (AIDS) belt. Thus, Murphy's travelogue, which mixes her reflections on colonial legacies with well-etched encounters with border bureaucrats and generous locals, is shadowed by the specter of loss: a young prostitute, her siblings' sole support after their parents died of AIDS, struggles to make her clients use condoms; an expat doctor agonizes over the dilemmas of notifying the HIV-positive. Given her encounters with troubled Africans as well as her views of ineffective Western aid workers, Murphy concludes-a bit simplistically-that it's time for the West to withdraw, to leave Africans ``to sort out their own future.'' Despite that, this book-first published in the U.K. in 1993-remains resonant. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 07/03/1995
Release date: 07/01/1995
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 426 pages - 978-1-85695-235-4
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-87951-671-0
Hardcover - 276 pages - 978-0-7195-5250-2
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4683-0589-0
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