Ulendo: Travels of a Naturalist in and Out of Africa
by Archie Carr, George B. Schaller
Publisher: University Press of Florida; Reprint edition (February 1993)
MY HERO recommends this book to
readers of all age groups.
In the timeless voice of a classic, Ulendo speaks to readers today with even more force and elegance than it did on its first publication in 1954. Written by Florida's preeminent nature writer, this memoir describes the African journey--the "ulendo," as they say in Malawi--of Archie Carr, who spent several summers in Africa on official business to study animal-borne diseases and sea turtle habitats.
His secret aim, he wrote, was "to see my dream of Africa unfold." Revealed here in images of pythons, fly spouts, and curious men, his dream became a passion to preserve the African wilderness. "I had thought of Africa as inexhaustible," he wrote in the preface. "Now, however, I am not able to get rid of the thought of its waning. It comes repeatedly into the Ulendo story, and has modified somewhat the tone of blithe irresponsibility I was aiming for."
Every few days during his trips he wrote letters to his wife and five children at home in Florida, and these personal asides, full of devotion to his family and enthusiasm for his adventure, are published for the first time in this new paperback edition. "Of course it was a lonely summer," Marjorie Carr writes in her prologue to the 1952 correspondence. "Archie's letters, written on little thin airmail stationery, were anxiously awaited and read and reread." With the reappearance of this collector's treasure, a new generation has the opportunity to experience the adventures and passions of this eloquent naturalist.
Archie Carr, Jr. (1909-87), world-renowned sea turtle expert, was the University of Florida's first graduate research professor. Among his many books are The Windward Road (UPF, 1979), High Jungles and Low (UPF, 1992), So Excellent a Fishe, and several volumes for the Life Nature Library. In addition to countless awards for scientific work, Carr received the O. Henry Memorial Award, the John Burroughs
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