The Jive Talker: Or How to Get a British Passport
A uniquely vivid and wickedly funny memoir of growing up ambitious, creative and sometimes hungry in Malawi, by the award-winning conceptual artist.
‘An African memoir unlike any other I have read … Filled with wonder, humour and hope. It is a magnificent achievement.’
Aminatta Forna, Sunday Telegraph
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DESCRIPTION & REVIEWS
A uniquely vivid and wickedly funny memoir of growing up ambitious, creative and sometimes hungry in Malawi.
With exuberant prose, a cast of extraordinary characters and a rebellious spirit, Samson Kambalu tells the story of how a little boy obsessed with fashion, football, Nietzsche and Michael Jackson won a free education at the Kamuzu Academy (‘The Eton of Africa’) and began his journey to art school and artistic success.
The son of a philosophising, hard-drinking, poorly paid hospital manager, Kambalu’s award-winning conceptual work is shown in galleries across the world, and still evokes that childhood landscape of literary excitement, family chaos and music; post-colonial injustice, poverty and Aids.
‘Read Kambalu, cry, clap your hands.’
Iain Finlayson, The Times
‘A truly original book.’
‘The charming and rare story of coming of age as an artist in Malawi.’
Daniel Bergner, author of Sing for your Life