This time the original was cut from 125,000 words to 102,000. I think the chapters that suffered are the Pretoria and Port Elisabeth ones. Surprisingly, there are quite a lot of errata that passed the editor, the proof reader and me.
Soon after, I joined the British Guild of Travel Writers. Fans of Brazil will be happy to note that Rainbow Diary is half its size, but that the personal, historical and social commentary remains and, since this is South Africa, the political tone is noticeably sharper than in Brazil. Since I wrote the book, Oprah has discovered the Chris Hani School, somehow, and she has taken it under her auspices. (Maybe she read Rainbow Diary.) As a result of her generous aid, the destitution I describe has most certainly diminished.
If anything, Rainbow Diary received as many good reviews as Brazil (including one from the Johannesburg Star) but the ultimate accolade was to be included in the Recommended Reading list for Lonely Planet’s South Africa travel guide in the same sentence as Nelson Mandela. Hey guys, I’m well and truly chuffed!
I wrote a few articles for Travel Africa, one of which should be read along with Rainbow Diary itself. It involved me returning to South Africa for a prolonged examination of Jo’burg and Gauteng. The city has changed a lot since my visit during the Rainbow Diary tour; so I consider this article complementary to the book. Sorry, you may have to login to read it ( at no cost, though).