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Thu Aug 24, 2017, 07:10 AM

Mnuchin's Wife Stirred Controversy Before, with Memoir of her Living Nightmare in Africa [View all]

Before Louise Linton’s bizarre Instagram exchange Monday and before her lavish June wedding to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the wealthy Scottish actress wrote a memoir about her gap year in Zambia in the late 1990s.

Linton’s book, “In Congo’s Shadow,” described how, as an 18-year-old, she “abandoned her privileged life in Scotland” in 1999 to live in Zambia for six months, a period that she described as “a living nightmare.” She wrote about becoming a “central character” in the “horror story” of Congolese war of the late 1990s, terrified of what the rebels across the border might do to the “skinny white muzungu with long angel hair.” (Muzungu is a Bantu term often used to refer to wealthy white people.)

She added: “Now that I’m a grown woman living in California and pursuing a very different dream — as an actress and film producer — I know that the skinny white girl once so incongruous in Africa still lives on inside me. Even in this world where I’m supposed to belong, I still sometimes feel out of place. Whenever that happens, though, I try to remember a smiling gap-toothed child with HIV whose greatest joy was to sit on my lap and drink from a bottle of Coca-Cola.”

The memoir, a 290-page account written with Wendy Holden, included what many Zambians characterized as cliches and misrepresentations of Africa. Linton wrote of the “inky blackness deep in the Zambian bush” and the “brutal tales of rape and murder.”

“Child soldiers in Zambia? Rebels violently crossing over into Zambian borders? Those are such shocking allegations that any Zambian will tell you did not happen,” she says. “She mixes Zambia, Congo and Rwanda so many times leading to the generalization of Africa as ‘one big country’ — something we have been trying to fight for a while now,” Ngoma said.

“She paints herself as a ‘savior’ in her memoir while the rest of the characters are either racists, or ignorant creatures.”



https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/08/22/treasury-secretarys-wife-stirred-controversy-before-with-a-memoir-of-her-living-nightmare-in-africa/?utm_term=.400cdea2efe0

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JI7 Aug 2017 OP
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