These two novels display the patterns that recur in scores of contemporary fi ctional works with African settings:

African offi cialdom is presented as largely corrupt and unable to grasp • Western business practices and ethics. Africans are accused of using natural resources in ways that are ecologi-• cally unsound, while they are simultaneously shown as being primitive peoples naturally suited to inhabit wild, undeveloped landscapes. African skin tones are obsessively emphasized (e.g., in Kessler’s book • “[the skin] glistened like fresh hot tar” [23], or “shone like black, wet marble” [44], or “black carbon paper” [53], or “wet ebony” [75], or “resembled a jet black Siamese cat” [132]). African spirituality is shown to be inferior to Western spirituality.• African community and family traditions are maligned as Western cus-• toms are extolled.