Books by June Vendall Clark

Released: May 16, 1991

A less conventional memoir of life in the wilds of Africa, despite the obligatory camps in the bush, flaming sunsets, loyal Africans, and cute lion cubs. Raised in what was then Rhodesia by eccentric parents, Clark, who's written a handful of booksnot seenabout African wildlife, rebelled at age 17 by becoming pregnant and marrying Robert Kay, a British soldier. Robert, an unpleasant mix of energy, sloth, and ego, was detested by Clark's father from the start. With Clark's money, the couple bought a small farm in the rocky Matopo Hills outside Bulawayo, where they entertained Bulawayo's lively set. But despite Clark's ingenuity and energy, this farm that she loved could never support their expanding family. While Clark worked for her father, whom she adored, Robert tried a number of unsuccessful ventures. The marriage faltered, and Clark headed for Kenya, but was enticed back by Robert's idea of traveling through Africa in the large sort of camper vehicle he had bought. They ended up in the Okavango swamps, in what is now Botswana, where for the next decade they explored and then worked to establish a large game preserve, the first in the country. Along the way, Clark wrote, traveled to South Africa and Britain to raise funds, rescued and reared animals, occasionally saw her three children, divorced Robert twice, and finally met up again with the love of her life, journalist Richard Clark. Clark's penchant for following her heart rather than her head makes her memoir, well written and lively as it is, read more like the perils of Pauline than an elegiac tribute to the wonders of the African wild. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographsnot seen.) Read full book review >