A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd
New York : William Morrow and Company, 1982. First American Edition. First Printing. Hardcover. 342 pages ; 24 cm. $14.50 dust jacket with minimal wear. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is firm.
A Good Man in Africa
Peopled with a rich cast of English colonials and West Africans, A Good Man in Africa is an exuberant contemporary comedy. Its subject matter is as much the "heaving manifestation of organic life in all its forms" as it is the ever-shifting relations of colonials and natives as each side maneuvers for advantage. Morgan Leafy, the "good man" of the title, is neither the loyal upper-middle-class colonial that the term implies, nor a Graham Greene good man, but a comfortably amoral slave of the flesh. Harvard-educated chiefs, prim and powdered Englishwomen, disappointed civil servants play their parts in the fecund and rank world of this wonderfully plotted first novel.
A Good Man in Africa was this year's winner of the Whi thread Award, one of England's most prestigious literary prizes. David Holloway, chairman of this year's panel of judges, described the novel as "absolutely outstanding, showing what can be done in a profoundly ironic way with the conventions of the English comic novel."
William Boyd was born in 1952 in Accra, Ghana, and was brought up there and in Nigeria. He was educated at Gordonstoun School, the universities of Nice and Glasgow, and at Jesus College, Oxford, where he wrote his Ph.D. thesis on Shelley. Boyd is currently teaching at St. Hilda's College, Oxford. He is also a regular reviewer for the London Times Literary Supplement and the London Sunday Times.
Praise for the British edition of A Good Man in Africa
". . . the best modern novel I have read in a long time." —The Daily Telegraph
"It is not only disgracefully funny, it holds an epiphany, even perhaps a moral, that makes the title more than a broad joke.', —The Guardian
"Spotting a new novelist of talent is one of the purest and most legitimate pleasures enjoyed by a reviewer. It doesn't happen often. William Boyd is the first for some time to have come my way ... a highly diverting and invigorating comic novel with a new and distinctive voice. I look forward to Boyd's next [novel]." —The Scotsman
"William Boyd's A Good Man in Africa has the shapeliness of a well-made short story and the punch of a good dirty joke. This is a highly accomplished comic novel, uproariously funny, but also carefully constructed, canny, and artful." —The Observer
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