Outdoor World

From Lawrence of Arabia to Breaking Bad: the desert as a cultural oasis

A place of sanctuary, stones and boulder festivals what outline artists and writers to the deserts unforgiving scenery? In 1990 a flyer circulated among San Francisco inviting people to attend a unique happen:” The Zone Trip is an extended event that takes us outside of our local region of time and place. On this particular expedition, we shall travel to a vast, desolate, white expanse stretching onward to the horizon in all directions .” Wilfred Thesiger, remembering his marathon journeys in the Arabian peninsula’s Empty Quarter in the 1940 s,…

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Outdoor World

Richard Powers: It was like a religious conversion. I realised the natural world isnt ours

After writing fictions on artificial intelligence, neuroscience and genetics, Powers has turned to trees. While on a hike through the Great Smoky Mountains, he talks about environmentalism and not having children To reach the latest work, The Overstory . As a botanist in his narrative explains, trees and humen share a common ancestor, and a one-quarter of their genes.” For 5 year I’ve been telling people I’m writing a novel about trees ,” he tells, with a smile,” and they’ve said:’ Really ?’” ‘ The volume was like a five-year-long…

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Outdoor World

2018 in books: a literary calendar

Essays from Zadie Smith, Arnhem from Antony Beevor and fictions from Julian Barnes, Sarah Perry, Pat Barker, Rachel Cusk and Bill Clinton. Place your book orderings now January Peter Carey. Photo: Sarah Lee for the Guardian Non-fiction The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers ( Hamish Hamilton ). Eggers tells the story of a fellow San Franciscan and coffee enthusiast Mokhtar Alkhanshali, raised by Yemeni immigrant parents, who travelled to Yemen to learn about the origins of coffee making and is caught up in the civil war. Writer’s Luck: A…

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Outdoor World

2018 in books: a literary calendar

Essays from Zadie Smith, Arnhem from Antony Beevor and fictions from Julian Barnes, Sarah Perry, Pat Barker, Rachel Cusk and Bill Clinton. Place your book orders now January Peter Carey. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian Non-fiction The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers ( Hamish Hamilton ). Eggers tells the story of a fellow San Franciscan and coffee enthusiast Mokhtar Alkhanshali, raised during Yemeni immigrant parents, who travelled to Yemen to learn about the origins of coffee making and is caught up in the civil war. Writer’s Luck: A…

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Outdoor World

Dazzling and worrying: my memories of Bruce Chatwin and In Patagonia

Forty years ago, Chatwins debut volume transformed travel write. But simply 12 years later, its writer was dead. The Observer theatre critic, Chatwins editor for that volume, reflects on a brief, brilliant career ‘Does anyone read Bruce Chatwin these days ?” Angela Carter and Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie is currently being publishing; Francis Wyndham, wrote sharp-edged, vivid, ingenious pieces: about the designer Eileen Gray, about George Costakis, an art collector in the Soviet Union, about Madeleine Vionnet, discoverer of the bias cut. He bolted from the Sunday Times to Patagonia.…

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