AN AMERICAN VISITOR by Joyce Cary

AN AMERICAN VISITOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is Joyce Cary's second novel, published here for the first time, which along with The African Witch and Mister Johnson deals with the backward reaches of Africa and the different areas of unenlightenment- whether indifferent, inflexible Colonial Office or shifty, shiftless native. And somewhere outside of these are the isolated, well-intentioned, sentimental, absurd blunderers -- such as Marie Hasluck, the ""American Visitor"", a newspaper woman who believes that the noble savage is best left along and that the white man, who comes to civilize, only contaminates. While running afoul of others there, prospectors, missionaries, British Judge Gore who represents vested British attitudes, Marie finds a confederate in the District Officer, Eustace Bewsher, who is now on the verge of fulfilling an old dream (an ""impracticable cause"" with ""undignified methods"") -- federating certain districts in this obscure district of Nigeria. As the story here moves towards the disastrous fiasco of Bewsher's hopes, and Marie's hopes for him, and the guilt with which she is left at his death, it is variously comic and tragic, and it is firm evidence of this writer's particular perception, irony and indulgence.

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 1961
Publisher: Harper