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Once Upon a Time in Zimbabwe cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-917906-6
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 366 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-917907-3
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 366 pages
  • Keywords
    • books about Zimbabwe,
    • Rhodesia memoir,
    • African stories,
    • Unrest in Rhodesia,
    • Southern Rhodesia,
    • Decolonization of Africa,
    • Growing up in Africa

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Once Upon a Time in Zimbabwe
A Story of Race and Inheritance
by Alan Webb

Joseph Daniels narrates his family’s origins, beginning with their arrival from England among the 1820 Settlers that landed in Cape Town, South Africa. Starting with nothing except a plot of land and the promise of prosperity in the Dark Continent, his ancestors John Henry and Kathleen Daniels, build a legacy that will intertwine their European heritage and that of the Black, indigenous people of Africa. Generations later, their mixed-race descendant Joseph Daniels, born in the turbulent years leading up to Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, strives to adapt to an environment rife with racial contradictions, political tension, and violence. Joseph shares the tender, harrowing, and humorous moments of his family’s lives, set against a backdrop of Zimbabwe and South Africa’s rich culture and history. Starting with the clash of African kings in Southern Africa, Joseph’s multigenerational tale moves through European colonization, the Rhodesian Civil War, Zimbabwe’s independence, and Robert Mugabe’s long presidency. By the time Joseph comes of age in the 1990s, he must navigate the complexity of his mixed-race Coloured identity while seeking to establish his generational inheritance and legacy. An episodic novel that sweeps across the centuries, Once Upon a Time in Zimbabwe is replete with historical detail and unforgettable characters. At turns adventurous, romantic, thrilling, and heartbreaking, the story of Joseph Daniels and his family is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

Alan Webb photo

Alan Webb was born in Zimbabwe during the tail end of the Rhodesian Civil War and had family who served on both sides of the conflict. He travels the world and is passionate about history, ancient civilizations, wildlife conservation, and environmental issues. He lives in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada with his family.


Alan Webb

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