Reading: Jeffrey Gettleman

Jeffrey Gettleman 

LOVE, AFRICA: A Memoir of Romance, War, and Survival


Tuesday, May 16 at 7:00pm
From Jeffrey Gettleman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist, comes a passionate, revealing story about finding love and finding a calling, set against one of the most turbulent regions in the world.

A seasoned war correspondent, Jeffrey Gettleman has covered every major conflict over the past twenty years, from Afghanistan to Iraq to the Congo. For the past decade, he has served as the East Africa bureau chief for the New York Times, fulfilling a teenage dream.

At nineteen, Gettleman fell in love, twice. On a do-it-yourself community service trip in college, he went to East Africa—a terrifying, exciting, dreamlike part of the world in the throes of change that imprinted itself on his imagination and on his heart.

But around that same time he also fell in love with a fellow Cornell student—the brightest, classiest, most principled woman he’d ever met. To say they were opposites was an understatement. She became a criminal lawyer in America; he hungered to return to Africa. For the next decade he would be torn between these two abiding passions.

A sensually rendered coming-of-age story in the tradition of Barbarian Days, Love, Africa is a tale of passion, violence, far-flung adventure, tortuous long-distance relationships, screwing up, forgiveness, parenthood, and happiness that explores the power of finding yourself in the most unexpected of places.


“A passionate debut memoir bears witness to political turmoil… A stark, eye-opening, and sometimes horrifying portrait by a reporter enthralled by the ‘power and magic’ of Africa.” (Kirkus)

“[Gettleman’s] beautifully written memoir is about many kinds of love…The path to love is not always straight, but when Gettleman discovers his true passions, he grabs hold and doesn’t let go. Love, Africa offers a key to understanding humankind’s past and future and a key to understanding our hearts.” (Sheryl Sandberg)

“Rarely do you read such beautifully rendered honesty: witness the eyes and heart of Jeffrey transform into a remarkable person and writer for our time.” (Ishmael Beah)

“Gettleman’s memoir of his life, his love, and the excitement and perils of journalism is a page-turner. The portrait of Africa that emerges is disturbing, tender, and harsh. …. A tremendous read. I couldn’t put it down.” (Abraham Verghese)

Jeffrey Gettleman, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 2012, is a foreign correspondent for the New York Times. He currently lives in Nairobi, Kenya.
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