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Culture Shock and Canapés

Culture Shock and Canapés

Author(s): Pamela O'Cuneen

Location(s): Africa

Genre(s): Autobiography/Memoirs, Food and Drink

Era(s): Second half of the 20th Century



A young Australian working girl from London struggles to adapt to diplomatic life among the royal courtiers of Swaziland, in post-independence Zimbabwe and in Angola amid the gunfire of the civil war. She accompanies her husband, the striding KJ, on his African postings together with two English bull terriers and a large, redoubtable African tabby cat. As each country unfolds its challenges and discoveries she shares her delight, her wry humour, and keen sense of the ridiculous. In a darker mood we follow KJ in Somalia during the famine and in Rwanda after the genocide. The book will appeal to travellers: to those who have worked overseas and coped with culture shock. The writer, a psychologist, delves into history and sociology, revels in the bizarre and includes recipes collected along the way.

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Lead Review

Pamela O’Cuneen’s memoir begins without a date but with a horribly colonialist attitude, as she records her encounter with an African “warrior” when she first arrives in Swaziland. (To her shock, he speaks English....

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