Zimbabwean author Petina Gappah’s powerful new novel Out of Darkness, Shining Light tells the story of the colonial exploration of Africa from the perspective of those in the shadows of history. Scrupulously researched, the novel traces the stories of the black attendants who bore Scottish explorer David Livingstone’s body out of Africa in the 19th century, carrying the maps that sowed the seeds of the continent’s colonisation. A former international trade lawyer, Petina speaks with ABC Radio National’s Kate Evans about this riveting, epic work of historical fiction that’s been described as Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness in reverse.

Petina Gappah (International)

Petina Gappah

Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from the University of Cambridge, the University of Graz and the University of Zimbabwe. Her debut story collection, An Elegy for Easterly, won the Guardian First Book Award in 2009. Her first novel, The Book of Memory, was longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her highly anticipated second novel is Out of Darkness, Shining Light.

Kate Evans (Australian)

Kate Evans

Kate Evans presents The Bookshelf on ABC Radio National (with Cassie McCullagh). She has a PhD in history, a lot of books and regrets neither.