Location/Culture Reports

Culture Report – Africa to Paris


The second leg of the race starts off in Songwe Village, Zambia. Books written about Zambia include: Kakuli by Norman Carr, his memoir of a lifetime spent working with animals and people in South Luangwa National Park; Survivors' Song by Delia and Mark Owens, the story of these naturalists' relentless fight against poachers in North Luangwa National Park; and The Africa House by Christina Lamb, the story of Stewart Gore-Brown and his plans for a utopian fiefdom in a remote part of Zambia during the 1920s. Chris McIntyre's Zambia, covers places of interest and scenic wonders, and provides a survey of the country's history.

In 1851, the Scottish missionary, David Livingstone crossed the Zambezi from the South and spent nearly 20 years exploring the region. His full report on his African travels has been published as The Life and African Exploration of Dr. David Livingstone: Comprising All His Extensive Travels and Discoveries As Detailed in His Diary, Reports, and Letters, Including His Famous Last Journals.

Paris, France

Americans in Paris. George Gershwin wrote the music, Gene Kelly and Vincente Minnelli made the movie and many have written the books.

Some nonfiction accounts of Americans in Paris include Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, which covers the time during the 1930s that he lived in Paris and Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Stein’s book is the “autobiography” of her longtime friend and companion, Alice B. Toklas and an account of their life together in Paris before, during, and after World War I. From 1995-2000, Adam Gopnik, a writer for the New Yorker, lived in Paris with his wife and infant son. He wrote about his experiences in Paris To The Moon. After Peter Gethers received his cat Norton as a present, they traveled around the world together to many places including Paris – The Cat Who Went to Paris is an account of their many adventures.

Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises is the story of a group of American and English expatriates in Paris during the 1920s. Henry James’s The Ambassadors is the story of an American sent to “rescue” a young man from a European woman in Paris and The American is the story of a wealthy American businessman in Paris who wants to marry an aristocrat. Diane Johnson has written a trilogy, Le Divorce, Le Mariage and L’Affiare, about modern American women and American/French relationships.