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book cover of Letters from Wankie

Letters from Wankie

A non fiction book by

"Letters from Wankie" is a unique true story based on the collection of some 500 air letters the author, British-born Patricia Friedberg, wrote home to England in the mid-1950s, during the first two years of her marriage to her South African physician husband.

Together the newlyweds moved to the remote mining town of Wankie in the far northwest corner of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where he was employed as a colliery doctor.

More than 50 years later, after her mother passed away, Patricia found among her mother's papers the bundle of air letters neatly tied and safely stored. Reading through the collection it was evident that the letters contained an incredible, historical account of life during the colonial years as seen through the eyes and writings of a young woman, twenty years of age, who was, unbelievably, even to herself, employed as Clerk of the Court at the Native Commissioner's Office.

Despite the enormous cultural differences the young Londoner faced -- the challenging and often shocking exposure to tribal practices and native law -- she carried on, overcoming obstacles with spunk and grit and a saving sense of humor.


"A gorgeous, touching, tragic tale of a lost -- but now, thanks to Patricia Friedberg -- never forgotten time in a remote corner of colonial Africa."
--Douglas Rogers, "New York Times" journalist and author of "The Last Resort: A Memoir of Zimbabwe"

". . . a delightful account of a plucky young woman who takes things as they come and makes the best of them. She effectively uses the device of letters to home . . . Patricia's 'voice' made me smile all through her account . . . like listening to a charming tale told by a good friend . . . a friend you have known forever. Well done!"
--Georgia Court, owner, Bookstore 1, Sarasota

"What an adventure! I loved this book! I could not stop reading this honestly portrayed, exhilarating account . . . Filled with humour and astute wry observations, this is a delightful trip into the past . . . a valuable slice of history that documents an era now washed away, an insight into a country which was once the jewel of Africa, and now is in ruins."
--Paul Williams, Ph.D., author of "Soldier Blue"

"An inspiring -- and most satisfying read."
--Joan Kufrin, author of "Uncommon Women" and "Leo Burnett, Star-Reacher"

". . . mental scenery that is thought-provoking, instructs and entertains. Exceedingly well done and a pleasure to read."
--Marilyn Pincus, bestselling author, ghostwriter and member of the Authors Guild, New York, NY


Used availability for Patricia Friedberg's Letters from Wankie

Kindle Editions

December 2013 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Letters from Wankie: A Place in Colonial Africa
Author(s): Patricia Friedberg
Publisher: Rainbow Books, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA