This Evening in Bangui

At least a hundred people have been killed here in Bangui today, in horrific fighting between Seleka and the so-called ‘anti-Balaka.’ The violence is increasingly sectarian, sharpening people’s fears that this beautiful fragile country could be on the brink of an abyss. I’ve spent most of the day trapped in my flat in Bangui, because […]

STOP PRESS – Breaking News!!

I am delighted to share this exciting news with you. All of you! Meet Me in Gaza has just been shortlisted for a Literary award! The Memo Palestine Book Award is an annual prize for the best book about Palestine published in English. The prize will be announced in London in November. I’ll probably still […]

Welcome to Bangui!

I arrived here two weeks ago. ‘Here’ is Bangui, small capital city of the Central African Republic, one of the remotest countries left in the world. The last week of June I flew  from London to Casablanca, changed planes, and at dawn descended over massive forest shrouded in cloud. When we landed in Bangui, the airport was very […]

In which I muse on Ironmongery, Central Africa and Guerrillas

There were always going to be eruptions of ire, anger and glee when Margaret Thatcher died. Last Monday I was in an Oxfam bookshop in a posh corner of London, buying a collection of short stories from a middle-age man in a luminous pink pullover, when he was suddenly distracted from the job in hand […]