Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Fl-Ha)

Foden, Giles

novel amin story ladysmith

(British, 1967– )

Foden is both novelist and journalist. His first novel, The Last King of Scotland (Whitbread First Novel Award, 1998), tells the story of an English doctor, Nicholas Garrigan, living in Uganda in the 1970s, who is engaged rather against his will to be private physician to larger-than-life President Idi Amin. Though Amin himself appears relatively little in the novel, his presence pervades the book—powerful, charismatic, and deranged, menacing even in his absence. He is hugely engaging, and every scene in which he appears is charged and immediate; yet at the same time one can't help hoping that we will never have to encounter him again. Foden's second novel, Ladysmith (1999), takes us back to Africa, with the story of the Boer siege of the British-controlled town of Ladysmith in 1899. Though it lacks an obvious single central figure, the many individual characters are without exception very well drawn and make up a real and satisfying ensemble.

J. M. Coetzee, Beryl Bainbridge, William Boyd  DHa

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