Saturday, June 23, 2012

"The Queen of Katwe"

A book titled The Queen of Katwe will soon be published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Based on a profile in ESPN Magazine (which was later nominated for a National Magazine Award), acclaimed sports journalist Tim Crothers has written a brilliant account of the young but harrowing life of Phiona Mutesi, a fifteen-year-old Ugandan girl who defied her impoverished background--and her culture’s gender norms--to compete in the 2010 World Chess Olympiad. (She will be on Uganda’s team once again for the 2012 Olympiad this fall in Istanbul.)

The book features gripping narrations of Phiona’s games against far older and more experienced players, a fascinating look into the evolution of chess in a war-torn and struggling nation, as well as the unlikely story of how her mentor Robert Katende, a refugee of Uganda’s civil war, has created a flourishing chess program for kids in one of Africa’s most treacherous slums.