British author releases final instalment of Africa memoirs

British author Ann Patras, relaxing in her family home in Alhaurín el Grande.
British author Ann Patras, relaxing in her family home in Alhaurín el Grande. / SUR
  • Ann Patras' new book continues the light-hearted look at the life of a British family who left Burton upon Trent to set up home in Zambia

A local expat author has released the eagerly awaited final book in the Zambia Trilogy of her Africa series. Much More Into Africa continues the light-hearted look at the life of Ann Patras and her family after they left their fhome in Burton upon Trent and moved to Zambia during the 80s.

The onset of those years came with some surprises. Ann didn't know anything about the place they were moving to and within days of arrival in Zambia she was horrified to find "they didn't have English-type pubs, toilet rolls were an endangered species and ants were the size of small cats".

Always a keen letter writer, Ann would often entertain her friends with tales of various adventures and calamities, and it was they who persuaded Ann to write about her life in Africa.

The 69-year-old author, who has lived in Alhaurín el Grande with her husband Ziggy since 2011, has a penchant to take awkward, near disastrous or embarrassing situations and make them funny. The first two books in the trilogy have been best-sellers on Amazon and she has received five-star reviews praising the 'witty, optimistic, sardonic, informative and touching content'.

The final instalment of the trilogy guides the reader through the family's final years living in Lusaka. However, the author confesses that the book proved more difficult than the previous.

"I must admit that this final book in the Zambia trilogy was more difficult for me to write than the first two. When writing I had to rely much more on my memory. Despite my initial qualms about recollection, this book has turned out to be considerably longer than the first two," the author explains.

Her books are neither travelogues nor indepth looks at African culture: they are about a family who moved to Zambia with no idea of what was ahead.

Ann and her family, which, by then, included three children and several dogs, eventually left Zambia and moved to South Africa - where they lived for 22 years. She says there are plenty more books to come about this chapter of her life.

"Whilst Much More into Africa completed the period of time spent living in Zambia back in the eighties, we then moved down to South Africa. It was immediately obvious that our lives there would offer a completely different array of African experiences," Ann declares.

The official book launch will be held in the Boma Pub in Alhaurín el Grande today (Friday) from 4pm.