J. A. Lourenco


On the Banks of the Zambezi

On the Banks of the Zambezi, a novel based on a true story, captures the factual experience of those who lived through a pioneering, daring, dangerous, and eventually futile effort to carve out a living in the undeveloped interior of Africa during the Portuguese colonial war, a turbulent period of history which led, in the mid 1970s, to the independence of five separate African nations.

The book portrays, through the eyes of a white child whose parents settle in the interior of Mozambique to run a general store catering to the local Chisena people, a family’s struggle, in spite of sickness and death, to re-build life and business, only to have their lifestyle destroyed by forces beyond their control. The experience of growing up white in a remote black environment is portrayed vividly, as is the primitive life of the locals, the disparity of opportunities for the white settlers compared to the native blacks, and the build-up of war from a rumble to a tragic reality.

Finally, On the Banks of the Zambezi depicts the transition from a colonial war led by the distant Portuguese government to an equally senseless but even more vicious civil war within the newly independent Mozambique, and the toll on the lives of all residents of the new nation. The book is a story of life, death and survival in the midst of hatred and adversity by whites and blacks alike. On the Banks of the Zambezi is a tale that will appeal to anyone who has survived the adversity of war or has experienced life outside the main stream, and especially to anyone with a passion for Africa and its history.

Title: On the Banks of the Zambezi
Author: J. A. Lourenco
Category: Historical Fiction (almost a Memoir!)
Words: 78,000 (approx)

eBook available:
    - for Kindle: www.amazon.com/dp/B00B1Y8R9A
    - for iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo and online reading: www.smashwords.com/books/view/274983

Print Book (300 pages) available:
    - at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482331632
    - at CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/4155216
    - Book can also be ordered at most bookstores - please ask and place an order.

What Readers and Reviewers Are Saying...

“On the Banks of the Zambezi certainly delivers on its promise to convey the experience of Portuguese settlers in Mozambique at the time communist rebels were overthrowing Salazar's oppressive colonial regime.  In so doing, J.A. Lourenco offers a compelling narrative focused on an individual family from the point of view of their daughter.  It is thus at once a remarkably even-handed treatment of a highly-charged political subject and quite a credible coming-of-age narrative.   … The book's style is neither excessively ornamental nor tediously straightforward.  Among the novel's more "universal" themes are those dealing with personal and political anxieties over the uncertain future, racial tensions and social constraints imposed on immigrants, as well as living conditions for both whites and blacks in sub-Saharan Africa.  Lourenco's descriptions also successfully convey an immediate sense of the African landscape.”  - Prof. Richard Larschan, English Department, Univ. Massachusetts, Dartmouth

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