"Out of Darkness, Shining Light: A Novel"

Sep 26, 2019

Our guest on ST is Petina Gappah, an award-winning, widely translated Zimbabwean writer and lawyer. She joins us to discuss her new novel, which explores the life of David Livingstone, the 19th-century Scottish missionary who famously set out to find the source of the Nile. As was noted of this book, which is called "Out of Darkness, Shining Light: A Novel," in The New York Times Book Review: "Gappah lists at least 30 books in the bibliography of her scrupulously researched new novel. This being the case, one imagines the author might well be dealing with subject matter that leaves precious little room for her to reinvent, to present us with a new view of a man whose story has been so thoroughly picked over. However, Gappah has chosen an ingenious way to approach Livingstone's life: She focuses on his death.... After all, the real heroes of this carefully crafted novel are Halima and Wainwright and the other Africans history has hitherto condemned to suffer in silence. It is to the novel's credit that after 150 years we can now hear their voices."