(Cough! Cough!) Please forgive the little boastful bits over on the right. You see I am not famous enough to be modest. And that second unsolicited quote comes from the literary critic of a rival newspaper group so who am I to argue anyway?
Having said that, welcome to my website! Please come in and close the door. Let me introduce myself: I was for 30 years a science writer writing grown-up stuff for South Africa’s foremost daily newspaper, The Star in Johannesburg. I mostly dealt with environmental matters, urban and rural. I also wrote a natural history column in the Saturday Star for 35 years.
Almost 20 years ago The Star persuaded me to switch my attention to writing a daily humour column and from then I have enjoyed journalism as never before. The column is called Stoep Talk (a stoep being the Afrikaans word for veranda or patio).
I also write for various journals and have had several books published.
For some reason it is customary in websites to refer to oneself in the third person and so, with my permission (thank you so much Mr Clarke) I will, from now on refer to myself as Clarke.
You will find on this site some of my - sorry, I mean Clarke's - columns and also an idea of some of Clarke’s books and something about the fellow himself. (Indeed, I can hardly wait to read what this fellow Clarke has to say.)
You will also be able to catch up with a series of exploratory expeditions that Clarke has intrepidly led from Africa into Darkest Europe over the last 10 years to bring back to Africa tales of the funny natives there. In fact he has written a book on the first five of those expeditions called Blazing Saddles (published by Jonathan Ball). In November 2011 he published an electronic version - his first “ebook” - called Blazing Bicycle Saddles. If you go to Amazon.com you can download it for a paltry sum - but hurry while stocks last.
DO COME IN!
More than a dozen books on wildlife and environmental matters in Africa and elsewhere
Clarke surrounded by fans
Excerpt from Blazing Bicycle Saddles:
Thus we sipped our beer in the sunlight discussing deep philosophical matters, such as which is the more enjoyable experience – the cycling itself or a well-earned rest under the trees savouring a nation’s beer? Richard, perhaps because of his legal background – before becoming an editor he was a practising attorney in London – tends to be very measured when offering an opinion. He felt the one experience sharpened the other. He said one feels one has earned a beer after cycling for a couple of hours and then the continued cycling afterwards gives one the satisfying feeling that one is working it off and will soon need another. In this way one can achieve a comfortable rhythm of exercise and relaxation getting neither fitter nor fatter.
Clarke's books are not always humorous. This one presents a serious challenge to the politics of wildlife conservation in Africa.
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Also available as ebooks:
NEW EBOOK RELEASE
© James Clarke 2017
This book describes the history and extent of human impact on the world’s wildlife, good and bad, and examines, in particular, the status of wildlife in Africa.