'This is a very personal book, about being alone and lost'. In 1975 Kapuscinski's employers sent him to Angola to cover the civil war that had broken out after independence. For months he watched as Luanda and then the rest of the country collapsed into a civil war that was in the author's words 'sloppy, dogged and cruel'. In his account, Kapuscinski demonstrates an extraordinary capacity to describe and to explain the individual meaning of grand political abstractions.
Ryszard Kapuscinski was born in Poland in 1932. As a foreign correspondent for PAP, the Polish news agency, until 1981 he was an eyewitness to revolutions and civil wars in Africa, Asia and Latin America. His books include The Shadow of the Sun, The Emperor, Shah of Shahs, Another Day of Life and Travels with Herodotus. He won dozens of major literary prizes all over the world, and was made 'journalist of the century' in Poland. He died in January 2007.