Douglas Rogers (writer)
11 November 1968 |
|Occupation||Journalist, travel writer, memoirist|
|Notable credit(s)||Author of The Last Resort|
Douglas Rogers (born 11 November 1968) is a Zimbabwean journalist, travel writer and memoirist.
He was born and raised in Umtali, Rhodesia to Lyn, a lawyer and Rosalind, a drama teacher. He grew up on heavily fortified chicken and grape farms during the Rhodesian Bush War with his three sisters. He survived a car crash when he was 11 years old, the car sped off a cliff in the Nyanga mountains and a female passenger was killed. He attended Chancellor Junior School, Mutare Boys High and later he attended boarding school in Harare at Prince Edward School. He later graduated with a journalism degree from Rhodes University in South Africa.
After graduating he was a city reporter for a Johannesburg newspaper and completed freelance editing assignments for Radio 702 and other media outlets. Since moving to London in 1994 he published several feature pieces in newspapers such as The Independent. His first travel piece was published by the Sunday Telegraph in 1997. He has written extensively for Travel + Leisure, the Daily Telegraph, and The Guardian.
In 2003 he moved to the United States on a media visa sponsored by fellow Zimbabwean and Telegraph travel editor, Graham Boynton. He currently teaches travel writing at the Gotham Writers Workshop and lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife Grace, a television news producer from New Jersey.
The Last Resort
In 2009 he published a part-memoir, part-travelogue, The Last Resort. It concerns his parents struggle to stay afloat in modern-day Zimbabwe, coping with inflation and warding off land invasions. He also meets several of the short and long term tenants that have been staying in his parents holiday cottages since the tourism industry broke down. Several of the residents are evicted white farmers and include a descendant of Andries Pretorius, a former captain of the Rhodesian rugby team who is also related to F. W. de Klerk as well as a nurse that assisted in the theatre as Christiaan Barnard performed the world's first ever Heart transplantation. Another resident is the brother of Abel Muzorewa, the brief Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia. The Sunday Times prasied the book as it "captures the rich humanity — the friendship, bravery, stoicism and unfailing humour — of the millions of black and white Zimbabweans..". The reviewer continued to describe the book as "utterly engrossing; a vivid chronicle of the disintegration of a post-colonial nation, and the rebirth of a multiethnic African society."  The Daily Telegraph reviewer felt that the memoir stands apart from its counterparts, "What distinguishes Douglas Rogers’s book from others is that there is a genuine narrative thread to his story, the characters are interesting and well observed, and the author’s humanity and integrity is consistently on display." The book has also been serialized by the Daily Mail.
- The Exchange: Douglas Rogers The New Yorker. 16 December 2009
- The Last Resort: A Zimbabwe Memoir by Douglas Rogers Sunday Times. 2 May 2010.
- The Last Resort: a Zimbabwe Memoir: review Daily Telegraph. 13 July 2010
- At the mercy of the machete mob: The terrifying isolation and almost suicidal courage of Zimbabwe's white farmers Daily Mail. 2 April 2010
- BGTW ANNOUNCES BRITAIN'S TOP TRAVEL WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS 2010 British Guild of Travel Writers. 10 November 2010