Author(s): Alex Perry
Alex Perry's lyrical exploration of the new Africa came about after a spell in jail, visits to numerous wars and, eventually, his resignation as a news correspondent. But this is no tale of African woe. Taking the Great Rift Valley - the geological fault that will eventually tear Africa in two - as his central metaphor, Perry explores the split between a resurgent Africa and a world at odds with its rise. Africa has long been misunderstood - and abused - by outsiders. Perry travelled the continent for most of a decade, meeting with entrepreneurs and warlords, professors and cocaine smugglers, presidents and jihadis. He uncovers a place that is defiantly rising from centuries of oppression to become an economic and political titan: where cash is becoming a thing of the past, where astronomers are unlocking the origin of life and where, twenty-five years after Live Aid, Ethiopia's first yuppies are traders on an electronic food exchange. But as Africa finally wins the substance of its freedom, it must confront three last false prophets - Islamists, dictators and aid workers - who would keep it in its bonds. Beautifully written, intimately reported, and sure to spark debate, THE RIFT passionately argues that a changing Africa revolutionises our ideas of it, and of ourselves.
A groundbreaking portrait of the changing face of modern Africa.
An epic, rich, endlessly surprising narrative of a fast-changing Africa by one of the few Western journalists to have spent enough time there to understand it. Calls to mind the best African writing of Ryszard Kapuscinski -- Douglas Rogers author of THE LAST RESORT
Alex Perry was TIME magazine's bureau chief in Africa until 2013 and is a contributing editor to NEWSWEEK. His awards include honours from the Society of Publishers in Asia, the Foreign Press Association in London and the Overseas Press Club in New York. He is the author of FALLING OFF THE EDGE: GLOBALISATION, WORLD PEACE AND OTHER LIES, LIFEBLOOD: HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD, ONE DEAD MOSQUITO AT A TIME and numerous ebooks on Africa, the Europe and the Middle East. In 2007, while covering Zimbabwe's implosion, Perry was held in jail for five days before being convicted of being a 'determined and resourceful journalist'. He lives in Hampshire. www.alex-perry.com @PerryAlexJ