The Scent of Eucalyptusis a coming of age novel set in Ethiopia in the early 1960s. Luke La Touche, freshly graduated from Oxford, resists settling down immediately into a career and heads instead for Africa to seek new experiences and a reprieve from the anxieties of Cold War Britain. Taking a teaching position in Addis Ababa, where his influential cousin James provides all the right introductions, he finds experiences a plenty. He is embraced by an expat community in the last throes of the colonial tradition. He is smitten with Caroline, a fiercely independent British woman, and befriends the rambunctious Simon. Everything changes, however, as he is drawn into the world of Yohannis, a young aristocrat who is part of an emerging generation seeking to transform Africa forever.
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John Dillon is Regius Professor of Greek (Emeritus) in Trinity College Dublin, having returned there in 1980 from a period in the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a member of the Classics Department from 1969 onwards. His chief area of interest is the philosophy of Plato and the tradition deriving from him, on which he has written a number of books. This is his debut novel.