This Was the Old Chief's Country

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The first volume of Doris Lessing's 'Collected African Stories', and a classic work from the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.'It can be said of all white-dominated Africa that it was - and still is - the Old Chief's Country. So all the stories I write of a certain kind I think of as belonging under that heading; tales about white people, sometimes about black people, living in a landscape that not so very long ago was settled by black tribes, living in complex societies that the white people are only just beginning to study, let alone understand.' Doris Lessing, from the PrefaceIn this superb volume of African stories, Lessing paints a magnificent portrait of the country in which she grew up. The cruelties of the white man towards the native, 'the amorphous black mass, like tadpoles, faceless, who existed merely to serve', the English settlers, ill at ease, the gamblers and moneymakers searching for diamonds and gold, and the presence, 'latent always in the blood', of Africa itself, its majestic beauty and timeless landscape: Lessing draws them all together into a powerful, memorable vision.

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