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Stan Kasprzyk, Author of Suspended In Vast Plain
Episode 17426th August 2022 • The Guy Who Knows A Guy Podcast • Michael Whitehouse
00:00:00 00:40:39

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This is part of our special series in association with our friends at Writer's Republic. We are highlighting some of the most interested and up-and-coming authors in their community.

Stan Kasprzyk has an incredible story of leaving communist Poland to live in capitalist Africa and the amazing adventures that occured.

In his own words...

I was born in Poland, and three years later, Stalin died in the Kremlin. In my happy childhood, I threw myself into the world’s geography. First, I studied countries, their capitals, rivers and mountains, and all objects on the map. My parents bought me atlases. I tended to spread the message of geography and quizzed adults about it. What is the capital of Columbia? I asked, and surprisingly, no one knew. Some were embarrassed, though. Interests in history and maths came later, which led to economics as my serious study and profession. But what kind of economy and economic study can one enjoy in a communist country where Marxist theory is the religion for the masses and leads to a market and social catastrophe similar to what we see in Sri Lanka today? But Poland in the 1970s and 1980s was not a free, neutral island on the Indian Ocean. It remained in a grip created by Stalin. And here we have a narrative arc spanning the first half of my life.

To begin the second half, I had to enter my purgatory. It happened to be the Kingdom of Adamawa in the North-eastern corner of Nigeria and the town of Yola. Being a geography maniac, I had nothing against going to Africa for at least two years. Moreover, I adored the idea, so I fully accepted Yola with its rustic beauty and tranquility - except for the bloody days of early March in 1984 (see Maitatsine).

The purgatory in Yola was for two years with a chance of extension. With my family, we decided to take the second leap. We went West. I became a software specialist and enjoyed three decades working on absorbing and taxing projects. In retirement, I looked for new frontiers, and the top one was writing the “African” memoir. It took five years to learn the craft and write SUSPENDED IN VAST PLAIN.

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