|216 pp paperback with flaps, 1 map, b&w author photo by Cecil Beaton|
ISBN 978 1 897959 53 4
£10 / AUS $28
> about the author
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Afterword by Pauline Melville
In 1932 Evelyn Waugh left the salons of Mayfair for the savannah and rainforest of what was then British Guiana. The result: classic travel-writing.
Even Waugh's comic imagination could not have invented the characters he met in South America, but only he could have described them so perfectly. A cattle-rancher who claimed to be a close friend of the Virgin Mary, a Jesuit missionary with a pet toad that ate burning cigarette ends, a gold-prospector who believed he was guided through the jungle by speaking parrots and many others live on in Waugh's mordant prose, as do his descriptions of Guyana's extraordinary landscapes. The author's journey – on foot, horseback and by boat – was extremely arduous, but he remained an unfailingly astute observer, offering a fascinating picture of the Amerindian peoples through whose lands he travelled.
In the Afterword, award-winning novelist Pauline Melville explores the connections between Waugh's experiences in the region of Guyana from which her own family hails and A Handful of Dust, one of Waugh's greatest novels, giving a fascinating insight into the creative process and the mind of the man himself.
Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian
The Evening Standard
'He will be admired as long as there are people who can read'
The Daily Telegraph