A Zest for Life
Biography of economist David B. Jones told in letters
ISBN: 978-0-9555417-2-8 289 pages, paperback, 210mm x 297mm (~A4).
63 B & W photographs, 1 maps and plans and 3 pen & ink illustrations Published by Kisumu Books, November 2008.
About the Book
We have been asked to stock copies of "A Zest for Life - Biography of economist David B. Jones told in letters" compiled and edited by our author, Sheila Wright. She wrote Bon Courage, Mes Amis! which we published under the Léonie Press imprint in 2002, and has since set up her own imprint, Kisumu Books, based at her home in Suffolk.
The subject of "A Zest for Life" is Sheila's younger brother, who died tragically in March 1997 at the age of 54. He was involved in a traffic accident in the African state of Chad, when he was hit head-on by a speeding sugar smuggler trying to evade the police and customs officers who were chasing him. He had recently arrived in the country as a representative of the World Bank, and only a month earlier he had expressed his worries, saying: "There is a constant stream of contraband passing in front of and beside the house, and from time to time the customs men raid them and shots get fired. It is very entertaining but I do not want to get caught in any cross-fire."
A memorial fund, financing the education of schoolgirls in Chad, has since been set up by the World Bank in his memory.
The book is compiled from letters telling the story of David and his family, his enthusiasms, his concern over world politics, Third World development and agriculture, and his special love for Africa. The correspondence recounts his experiences in Europe, the USA, the West Indies, India, Bhutan and numerous African countries, where he worked as an economist for various international organisations such as the Overseas Development Institute, the Overseas Development Administration and The Ford Foundation.
Sheila says: "For more than 50 years, David revelled in life in all its variety, never tiring of new experiences, endlessly inquisitive, fascinated by his felow human beings, and secure in the love of his family. He lit up the atmosphere wherever he went, through his energy, enthusiasm and tremendous zest for life."
He was never afraid to speak his mind and many of his predictions on world economics, written some years ago, are now being demonstrated, such as the problems caused by a post-Soviet Russia, the rise of Asia at the expense of Europe and the USA, and the view that his beloved Africa's problems were caused "by self-mutilation".
When he was a student at Oxford he met his future wife, Nicole Fortuné from Guadeloupe, and they married in 1964. They had two sons, Bernard and Dominic. Nicole naturally accompanied him on all his travels and a number of the quoted letters were written by her.
The book – which is in A4 paperback format, illustrated with black and white photographs, and nearly 300 pages long – has been a labour of love on Sheila's behalf. She was originally asked to produce it by her mother but for many years the loss of her brother was too raw for her to undertake the task. Now, sadly, her mother has died but Sheila hopes the book will be a source of comfort and pride to David's family, friends and colleagues.
A Zest for Life - Biography of economist David B Jones told in letters, compiled and edited by Sheila Wright, published in 2008 by Kisumu Books, ISBN: 978-0-9555417-2-8, price £14.50.
Sheila Wright M.A. (née Jones) was born in 1939. Educated at Wyggeston School in Leicester, Bretton Hall in Yorkshire and the U.E.A. in Norwich, she taught in many village schools (almost half of them Church of England Controlled Schools), first in Hertfordshire, then in Suffolk. She is married to Ron, a music teacher and band master.
Sheila is a Lay Reader in the Church of England. Her hobbies include music, drawing and painting, gardening, keeping poultry, escapism in the French countryside, and enjoying the company of her children and twelve grandchildren.
She has described her experience in France in her earlier book Bon Courage, Mes Amis! which we published in May 2002. It is obviously such a good title as another publisher subsequently produced a book with the identical title, with which it shouldn't be confused!
The book can be obtained from Mrs Sheila Wright, "Kisumu", The Street, Wickham Skeith, Eye, Suffolk IP23 8LP. Please make cheques, drawn in sterling on a UK bank, for £ 14.50 + p+p, payable to "Mrs S Wright".
Copies are available.