A CERTAIN CURVE OF HORN: THE HUNDRED-YEAR QUEST FOR THE GIANT SABLE ANTELOPE OF ANGOLAby: John Frederick Walker
A compelling story of exploitation & adventure, politics & war; told through the quest for one of the most purely majestic of Africa’s animals, caught amid the upheavals & brutal savagery of Angola’s wars. Includes a new Epilogue by the author. 16 pgs. of B&W illus; 6×9 inches, 496 pgs.
The great animals of Africa have long been under siege–once routinely slaughtered as trophies by big-game hunters, their habitats are now slowly being choked off by the relentless encroachment of human development, and increasingly the efforts to preserve them are hostage to the warfare that ravages the continent. In A Certain Curve of the Horn, veteran journalist John Frederick Walker tells the story of one of the most revered and endangered of these regal beasts: the giant sable antelope of Angola, a majestic, coal-black quadruped with breathtaking curved horns over 5 feet long. It is an enthralling and tragic tale of exploration and adventure, politics and war, the brutal realities of life in Africa today and the bitter choices of conflicting conservation strategies.
A Certain Curve of the Horn traces the sable’s emergence as a highly sought-after natural history prize before the First World War, and follows its struggle to survive in a war zone fought over by the troops of a half-dozen nations, and its trail of this mysterious animal. Walker interweaves the stories of the adventurers, scientists, and warriors who have come under the thrall of the beast, and how their actions would shape the course of the history of the giant sable antelope and the history of the war-torn nation that is its home.
Culminating with a heart-pounding voyage into the heart of rebel-held Angola in search of the first scientific confirmation of the animal’s existence in decades, A Certain Curve of the Horn is a thrilling blend of history, natural science, and adventure–and a fascinating lok into the world of a magnificent beast that has haunted the imaginations of hunters and naturalists around the globe for generations.
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING:
A Certain Curve of the Horn deservers to be ranked with Peter Matthiessen’s classic, The Snow Leopard. It underscores the sanctity of all life, a lesson as important for humanity’s survival as for the giant sable antelope’s.”
–Ed Voves, The Philadelphia Inquirer
“One of the writer’s hardest tasks is introducing his readers to a distant country few of them have ever seen and to a culture they have scarcely heard of. Walker succeeds in bringing the southwestern African country of Angola to wretched life in A Certain Curve of the Horn.”
–Anthony Day, Los Angeles Times
“A fascinating account…of a rare & endangered mamal that few people outside its homeland have ever heard of…riveting…a wonderfully told story.”
–Laurence A. Marschall, Natural History
“Walker casts a wide and authoritative net in a story that is part rich history of Southern Africa, part natural history of the giant sable, and part journalistic first-person adventure tale.”
–J.E. Grinnell, Choice
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John Frederick Walker is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Sports Afield, Forbes, and New York, as well as numerous other magazines. He has been traveling to Africa since 1986 and is currently at work on a history of ivory.
Publisher: INGRAM PUBLISHING SERVICES
Publish Date: 02-14-2004