As for where the action will be set, did he give a clue at the recent Oxford Literary Festival? He said that he was working on a novel set in Africa. You could assume that he was referring to the new Bond book, but with the prolific Boyd you can’t be sure. But I like the idea of Bond being blown around post-colonial Africa on the winds of change.
Our own Zencat had his take,
I also like the idea of Bond "being blown around post-colonial Africa" (in 1969), but I'm thinking The Spectator has it wrong here. Certainly Boyd hasn't started on his Bond book yet; this Africa book is probably his next original novel. And as Jeffery Deaver set a large part of Carte Blanche in South Africa, it's unlikely IFP would want to repeat the location so soon (but Boyd did say IFP allow their Bond authors to do their own thing).
I think the African book Boyd refers to is indeed his Bond novel.
Look at his recent bibliography:
Ordinary Thunderstorms, 2009
Waiting for Sunrise, 2012
untitled James Bond novel, 2013
Three years between each novel. No way he'll sneak another original novel in. Has to be Bond. Boyd made that Africa comment on 31 March 2012.
The James Bond memes blog digs a little deeper:
James Bond in 1969 - an update
In a recent post, I speculated about the events William Boyd might refer to in his forthcoming James Bond novel in order to root the narrative to 1969, the year in which the novel will be set. I wonder whether the author's 2002 novel, Any Human Heart, provides a little more insight.
The novel takes the form of a journal, which is written intermittently by the protagonist Logan Mountstuart between the early 1920s and the early 1990s. The journal covers, among other episodes, Mountstuart's school days, his time at Oxford University, his early career as a writer, his experience in naval intelligence during the second world war (having been recruited by Ian Fleming - more on that in a later post), and his time in New York running an art gallery.
In 1969, Mountstuart is teaching English in Nigeria. Through Mountstuart's journal, William Boyd refers to the Moon landing (something I thought might be mentioned in the Bond novel), and places Mountstuart in the centre of the Nigerian civil war (also known as the Biafran War), which lasted from July 1967 to January 1970.
Given Boyd's knowledge of the region (he grew up in Nigeria and set a novel in West Africa), it is possible that he might turn again to Africa, and we might at least see a reference to Nigeria and the Biafran War in his awaited Bond novel.
According to the Goodreads website, "Boyd was born in Accra, Ghana on 7th March, 1952 and spent much of his early life there and in Nigeria where his mother was a teacher and his father, a doctor. Boyd was in Nigeria during the Biafran War, the brutal secessionist conflict which ran from 1967 to 1970 and it had a profound effect on him."
Is it possible Boyd's Bond novel will focus on the Biafran War? For those interested Freddie ("The Day of the Jackal") Forsyth's first book, The Biafra Story, takes a very pro-Biafra stance. Forsyth was a war correspondent during the conflict. link one link two Apparently Forsyth got himself blacklisted from media circles at the time for his pro-Biafra stance. "[Forsyth] returned to a particularly frigid London, worn out from reporting on the Biafran conflict. Unemployed, sleeping on a friend's couch and badly in need of cash, he sat down at his bullet-scarred portable typewriter and began bashing out a novel he'd conceived years earlier, as a "junior junior" foreign correspondent in Paris."
Wikipedia claims Britain and the Soviet Union(!) gave Nigeria millitary support, while Canada(!) and France helped Biafra. The United States remained out of the conflict but unofficially was more pro-Biafra. Britain played a crucial part turning the war in Nigeria's favor in the final days.
BP ("British Petroleum") seems to have played a part in Nigeria's history and the Biafran conflict. I'll post more about that after I read up on it.
Edited by glidrose, 31 May 2012 - 11:30 PM.