AFRICAN SKETCHBOOK by Frederick Franck


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As Graham Greene notes in his preface to African Sketchbook, author Frederick Franck writes with an accuracy of feeling and freshness of choice, two very rare virtues not usually found in travel books. But the author does much more, for he is a seasoned visitor to the Dark Continent and a committed one; his pages dazzic with warmth and generosity, a knowledgeable eye and humane perspective. Clearly Dr. Franck is in love with the African landscape and its awakening people. Whether through his pen-and-ink drawings (a Coptic church, Aeera's Freedom Arch, Sierra Leona's vulture mart, horse Laxis at Addis Ababa, multi-studies of animals, villages, surfbonts etc.) or through his many-faceted text illuminating Ghana's political spectrum, Congo on the eve of independence, Schweitzer's Lambarene hospital, Freetown's bawdy beauty or Nigeria's English-style decorum, African Sketchbook manages to reflect honestly and heartily a colorful world of contrast and change. In fact, it has at times much of the glitter of the grandly grotesque typified by Joan Genet's The Blacks, both works, of course, having their roots deep in the African conscience and Intensely aware of the cultural mutations taking place. A rewarding and timely book.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1961
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston