Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Julian Smith, author of 'Crossing the Heart of Africa'

Julian Smith had been with his girlfriend for nearly seven years. He'd (finally) asked her to marry him, and she'd said yes. But still, was experiencing anxiety about making such a "huge commitment." Then he discovered the story of a nearly forgotten nineteenth-century Victorian explorer.

In 1899, Ewart Grogan set out to become the first man to traverse the African Continent - from the Cape to Cario. Part of what grabbed Smith's interest was that Grogan set this heroic feat for himself in order to be worthy of his lady love. And so Smith set out on a similar journey in 2007.

Crossing the Heart of Africa: An Odyssey of Love and Adventure weaves three stories together into one book: Ewart's grueling two-year odyssey, Smith's two-month journey along stretches of that same route, and snippets of the modern-day-relationship story of Smith and his girlfriend, Laura.

During this week's program, Smith talks about Grogan, his own journey, and how the colonization of Africa contributed to its present-day brutal wars. He also reads from Crossing the Heart of Africa.

Tune in tomorrow evening at 6:30 ( or 7:30 ( Or listen anytime online.

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