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A classic of travel literature

Back to the Congo

Lieve Joris

Fascinated since childhood by the stories of her great-uncle, a missionary in the Congo, Lieve Joris travelled to Africa in his footsteps in 1985. 'Back to the Congo' tells of her search for the old Congo of the Catholic fathers, and for the Zaire of the ubiquitous President Mobutu. Joris meets confidants and critics of the president, but she also explores the poor part of town, the cité where the malingering for which Zairians are famous sets the tone and the dancing goes on until dawn. In an old rusty boat she travels up the great Zaire River.

So evocative that it’s as if you have actually set out in the company of Lieve Joris.
Nieuwsblad van het Noorden

'Back to the Congo' is a discerning portrait of daily life in the heart of Africa. Joris travels with pluck and perpetual curiosity, never allowing anyone to dupe or take advantage of her. Always prepared to empathize, she has the astonishing gift of being able to unite the broad picture with its details, somehow managing to combine analysis and storytelling without ever losing the thread of either. Her personal voice makes the country and its people tangible. This is a fascinating journey and a classic of travel literature.