Terror across the river: Letter from a Congo literary festival

New Yorker, March 6, 2013

Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, is an agreeable city with a frayed, low-rise commercial downtown, a hilly upscale district of hotels and embassies that stretches to the airport, and, radiating out in three directions, busy working-classquartiers where life goes on out of doors along rutted, unpaved side streets. The Congo River flows along the city’s southern edge, and across it one can see Kinshasa, the famously unruly capital of the separate and much larger Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaïre. The twin capitals share a great deal, including language and music, but their colonial and modern histories are completely different; as if to underscore this, there is no bridge across the river, only a ferry and smugglers’ canoes. [Read the whole story at NewYorker.com]

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