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Tag: African morality

Tick Bite Fever . . . not feverish at all. A mellow read.

Tales of African morality  .  .  . from African ex-patriates

Somewhere I read that the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency stories are about African morality. ‘Traditionally built” Patience Ramotswe solves every case, not only with patient detection but in a spirit of kindness and fairness.  Through each story, we are reminded of what is “good and true, better and possible”.Tick Bite Fever by David Bennun

This weekend I read David Bennun’s 2004 book Tick Bite Fever.  The book is widely praised for its humor and “mordant wit”.

I often avoid books written by wazungu (white Africans).  They often make me wince.  I found Tick Bite Fever refreshing.  It is funny.  Maybe the wit is mordant.  I found it kind.  I found it humble.  I found it connected.  Could it be said that Tick Bite Fever is also an example of African morality where each situation is played out, not by heroes, but in a muddle that is resolved by restoring the dignity of everyone involved?  Can I hold my breath that there is style of literature emerging from African expatriates that is gracious and proportioned?

But even if you don’t want to think too hard, it is a good read.  If you are from that part of the world, you will recognize the lifestyle and laugh.  If you like wit, you will enjoy the keen phrase.  If you need a gentle book for curling up on a wet British weekend, this is it.  Tick Bite Fever.  Not feverish at all.  A mellow read.

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No 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Map of Botswana
Image via Wikipedia

Have you read The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency?  Or did you see its premiere on BBC1 last Easter Sunday?

The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency is that – the first detective agency run by a woman – and its novelty is that this series of detective stories is set in contemporary Botswana.

The star of the series, Patience Ramotswe is a heroine, with a large heart, but she is no superwoman.   She is famously ‘traditionally built’ and has few pretensions.  She runs her detective agency on the basis of one “how to” book, and has no particularly skills.   She dislikes telephones, and drives with her handbrake on.

Jill Scott’s  plays Patience Ramotswe in the BBC series.  Ian Wylie quotes Scott’s description of her character:

“She believes in justice and she loves her country.   . . She’s a real woman who has experienced the loss of a child, being heartbroken with her first marriage, but decided that life is so much better, that there’s so much more than those particular heartaches.”

The series of books are written by Alexander McCall Snith and are available from a library or book shop near you!  Fabulous reading but do read them in order as the lives of the characters unfold.  No 1 Ladies . .  is the first in the series.

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