by Giles Foden
|The title of Giles Foden's first novel refers
to Idi Amin, dictator of the central African nation of Uganda from 1971
until the Tanzanian army, and his own people, drove him from power in 1979.
According to Foden's account— which seems, in many of its details,
too strange not to be true— Amin once sent the following message to Queen
Elizabeth "with copies to the UN Secretary- General Doctor Kurt Waldheim,
Soviet Premier Brezhnev and Mao Tse-Tung":
Unless the Scots achieve their independence peacefully . . . they will take up arms and fight the English until they regain their freedom. Many of the Scottish people already consider me last King of the Scots. I am the first man to ask the British government to end their oppression of Scotland. If the Scots want me to be their King, I will.Call him Bonnie Prince Idi.
At the heart of Foden's arresting first novel is a Scot who becomes
not only Amin's willing subject, but also his personal physician and friend.
Dr. Nicholas Garrigan, son of a Presbyterian minister, grows up dreaming
of exotic lands and wild adventures.
|About Giles Foden:
Foden was born in England in 1967, and lived with his family in Africa as a child. Since returning to England, he has been editor of the Times Literary Supplement and currently is a journalist with the Guardian. Foden's first novel, The Last King of Scotland, won the Whitbread First Novel Award in 1998.