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Goodbye, Dr Banda


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About the Author

Alexander Chula is an NHS doctor and writer. He was born and raised in London, and is of mixed Thai and British ancestry. He read Classics at Worcester College, Oxford, then medicine at the University of London. He has worked in Malawi both as a teacher of Latin and Greek and as a doctor.


'Extremely rich and interesting... Many people, alas, read to confirm their prejudices; this book will make people reflect on and think about what they have never considered before'
*New English Review*

'Chula's powerfully thought-provoking book shows the folly of treating Western high culture as merely a tool for self-flagellation. Properly embraced, it can be a route for engagement with the equal wealth of other cultures, rather than division'
*The Critic*

'Triumphantly upends the familiar narrative . . . a quxiotic attempt to show us what countries can learn about love and art from rural Malawians'
*Financial Times*

'This is an impressively researched, beautifully written book. I loved the empathy Chula brings to Malaŵi’s myths, our past and our present. The history of missionaries like Robert Laws and Chauncy Maples showed his thoroughness in research. This is a book to read and enjoy'
*Felix Mnthali*

'Goodbye, Dr Banda is one of those rare books that are hard to classify, but are all the more delightful for that very reason. It is a highly unusual personal memoir, but it is also a sympathetic and perceptive portrait of a country and its past. It is a quite superb book that will linger with the reader for a long time after it is read'
*Alexander McCall Smith*

‘A rewarding, delightful and personal examination of Dr Banda’s struggle to reconcile his indigenous Chewa culture with the culture of the Greek and Latin Classics ... Radical, deep and surprising, with gentle but trenchant observations on African versus Western cultural dynamics'
*John Lwanda*

'This book gets better and better as it goes along. Fascinating, extremely well written, and a very important – though under-stated – contribution to the ongoing debate about colonialism'
*Sir Roger Scruton*

'Alexander Chula casts a subtle but penetrating light on both Africa and the West. There is nothing quite like it'
*Theodore Dalrymple*

'A riveting – and cautionary – tale of a collision of two cultures, as seen through the eyes of a young classicist turned medical doctor, who discovers that Ancient Greek legend and the rituals of the Chewa people have much in common. Brilliantly observed and packed with insights, the result is an African classic'
*Michael Holman*

'I have read this with great enjoyment. Learning about the tradition of classics in Malawi since Banda is fascinating, and the author’s personal experiences as a teacher at Kamuzu Academy – and at Oxford prior to that – are vivid, memorable, and described with directness and elegance'
*Armand D’Angour*

'Absolutely engaging from beginning to end, Goodbye, Dr. Banda is very likely to position Chula as a leading literary voice in years to come. I recommend this work for the way it informs, its cultural insights, and for its keenly observed detail'
*Tahir Shah, author of Time magazine best-seller The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca*

'Timely, erudite, and a fascinating insight into the complex diversity that is the real modern Africa'
*Robert Twigger, best-selling author of Red Nile*

'Astute and thoughtful observations of an African microcosm contain important lessons for the larger discussion of the impact of Western colonialism. There is wisdom here, elegantly expressed'
*Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor Emeritus of Moral Theology, author of Colonialism: A Moral Reckoning*

'[Chula] has an authoritative voice, an empathetic writing style and a very shrewd eye. He has written a social monograph, a national history, and philosophical treatise on our times that deserves a warm and wide reception'

'A superbly written dedication to the beauty and strength of modern Africa. Essential reading'
*Amazon Five Stars*

'A stimulating read that will linger in the mind!' 
*Amazon Five Stars*

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