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Giles Foden

4 Reviews

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Second World War fiction

Searching for her mother and a rumoured aquifer in northern Namibia, Chalice Conroy must contend with desert lions as well as with rapacious humans . . .

Namibia's Skeleton Coast.

A place of vast dunes and rusting ship hulks, where the cold Benguela current rises dense ocean fogs, and black-maned lions eke out the last of their subspecies.

It once seemed to Irish scientist Ailidh Conroy that she could find water there. But her search for an aquifer left her with nothing but a Russian military cap and a baby on the way.

Twenty-four years later, when Ailidh's daughter Chalice is summoned to Africa, she seems likely to follow the same fatal path as her parents. Haunted by memoires of the Russian military cap that used to hang on her mother's bedroom door, Chalice is forced to reckon with the same dangers and mysteries that her parents faced before her. And that's all before Chalice finds, on the slippery ledges of the fabled underground aquifer, another set of human remains - those of her parents.

But as she discovers them, lions approach . . .

How will Chalice escape the twin threats, human and animal, that she faces? Is there a chance for her to lie to rest the mysteries of her past? And what does it mean for the lions, whether humans control the aquifer? These are the questions arising in a novel that continues Giles Foden's project of investigating abuse of power in Africa.

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Praise for Thirst

  • Every new novel by Giles Foden is something to celebrate

  • Foden is a brilliant voice and African observer

  • The most original and interesting novelist of his generation

  • An amazing and profound work, rich in memorable detail

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Giles Foden

Giles Foden was born in 1967 and spent much of his early life in Africa. He was educated at Cambridge University. He has worked as a barman, a builder, a journalist, an academic, and as a rapporteur for the European Commission. For ten years, he was an editor and writer on the Times Literary Supplement and the Guardian, and his writing has since been published in Granta, Vogue, Esquire, The New York Times and Conde Nast Traveller, where he is a contributing editor. His fiction includes The Last King of Scotland, Ladysmith, Zanzibar and Turbulence. The Last King of Scotland was made into an Oscar-winning feature film in 2006.

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