Michel the Giant :An African in Greenland - Penguin Modern Classics

Michel the Giant

Michel the Giant :An African in Greenland - Penguin Modern Classics

Paperback | English
Published: 3 February, 2022
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The gripping true story of one man's ten year expedition from a village in West Africa to the Arctic Circle


Scorching heat, rich, fertile soil, and treacherous snakes marked the landscape in which Tete-Michel grew up in 1950s Togo, West Africa. When he discovered a book on Greenland as a teen, this distant land became an instant obsession - he was determined to journey to the place these pages had revealed to him and embarked on the adventure of a lifetime.

A book of rich and immersive travel writing, Michel the Giant invites the reader to journey alongside an audacious Kpomassie as he makes his way from the equator to the bitter cold of the artic and settles into life with the Inuit peoples, adapting to their foods and customs. Part memoir, part anthropological observation this captivating narrative teems with nuanced observations on community, belonging and the universality of human experience.

This title has been previously published as An African in Greenland

Remarkable . . . skilful storytelling . . . intrepidly adventurous and unconventional . . . couldn't be more relevant. The kinship he felt with the Inuit on that first visit saw the publication of a literary work that was well ahead of its time. -- Michael Segalov * Observer *
Fearless reverse ethnology . . . gorgeous descriptions . . . an eye for absurdity . . . Kpomassie is a writer of enviable and maybe indispensable amiability and serenity . . . With his gaze and his mind continually turned out and facing forward, he is up to every predicament he encounters; he has the mother wit, the equanimity and the self-confidence of the epic hero -- London Review of Books * Michael Hofmann *
Beautiful, compassionate, insightful . . . inner and outer landscapes both richly and honestly detailed . . . the furthest a book has taken me . . . Astonishing -- Johny Pitts * author of Afropean *
A fascinating snapshot of Inuit culture and a reminder of the common threads that bind us all . . . a first-rate storyteller to the whole world -- Noo Saro-Wiwa * The Times *
It is a long way in miles, but even longer in resilience, adventurous persistence and uncanny charm. . . . Kpomassie's book contains a catalogue of his impressions, combined with striking passages of fine writing. The result is the curious double perspective of a naive visitor, combined with the controlled distance of a writer -- Paul Zweig * The New York Times Book Review *
Warm, witty and joyful -- Ann Morgan * Financial Times *
Surprising . . . this beautifully written, page-turning piece of unjudgmental anthropological reportage by a black man finding his soul through seeking the soul of the Inuit recognises an important lesson for today. -- Sue Prideaux * The Times *
Pioneering and unforgettable * Mr Porter *
An ebullient snapshot of a vanished age -- John Self * Observer New Review *

Tete-Michel Kpomassie was born in 1941, in Togo West Africa. When it was first published, his critically acclaimed travelogue, Michel the Giant: An African in Greenland, was awarded the Prix Litteraire Francophone International and shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award.

Type Book
ISBN 9780241554531
Number Of Pages 336
Item Weight 247 g
Product Dimensions 129 x 198 x 19 mm
Publisher Penguin Books Ltd
Format Paperback