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The true story of the year Kirsten Drysdale (The Checkout, Hungry Beast) spent in Kenya, trying to keep her sanity as a dementia carer and domestic spy for a cantankerous British-Kenyan colonial.

‘This is not your standard white-girl-in-Africa tale. I fed no babies, I built no schools, I saved no rhinos.’

When Kirsten Drysdale was 24 she was offered a free ticket to Kenya and a job that seemed too good to be true. This is the true story of the year she spent fending off marriage proposals and death threats from a colonial octogenarian with dementia, working for a deranged family as they squabbled over the millions of pounds in his will.

Kirsten’s job was to keep Walt company around the clock, placating his daily delusions. One of the last colonial leftovers, Walt often thought he was in England in 1942, collecting WWII bomb shrapnel from the fields near his school. Some days he thought he was in Kenya – but in 1958, in the middle of The Kenya Emergency and he needed to find his guns. He never believed he was in Nairobi in 2010, in the house he’d lived in for thirty years – even though that was the truth. Even the dead lion hanging on the wall in the dining room didn’t jog his memory.

Full of public accusations of murder, terrorist attacks, safari trips, long lost family and an urban bodybuilding convention, The Nairobi Front is a sometimes tragic, always hysterical travel memoir about death, family, illness, wealth, love, sanity, benzodiazepines, monkeys, whisky and finding your own way.


If you’re secretly fearful that yours is the strangest family alive, relax. Kirsten Drysdale has just reset the bar.

Andrew Denton

A much funnier story about losing your mind in Africa than Joseph Conrad managed

Craig Reucassel

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    January 8, 2019

    Vintage Australia

    352 pages

    RRP $40.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    January 8, 2019

    RHA eBooks Adult

    352 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ