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Colin Thubron is an acknowledged master of travel writing, and the winner of many prizes and awards. His first writing was about the Middle East - Damascus, Lebanon and Cyprus. In 1982 he travelled into the Soviet Union in an ancient Morris Marina, pursued by the KGB, a journey he recorded in Among the Russians. From these early experiences developed his classic travel books: Behind the Wall (winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Award), The Lost Heart of Asia, In Siberia (Prix Bouvier) and Shadow of the Silk Road (all available in Vintage). In 2010 Colin Thubron became President the Royal Society of Literature.
January 2012 Travel Book of the Month. Spare like the landscape he depicts, Colin Thubron writes of the landscape of Tibet and the pilgrimage route to Mount Kailas, sacred to Hindus and Buddhists but rarely visited by Westerners. Religion runs through each step of the journey, searching, explaining and showing us a land imbued with religious thought and practice. Described as the most personal of his journeys yet, a journey of mind and body. Like for Like Reading:In Siberia, Colin ThubronSky Burial, Xinran
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 3 March 2011. Spare like the landscape he depicts, Colin Thubron writes of the landscape of Tibet and the pilgrimage route to Mount Kailas, sacred to Hindus and Buddhists but rarely visited by Westerners. Religion runs through each step of the journey, searching, explaining and showing us a land imbued with religious thought and practice. Described as the most personal of his journeys yet, a journey of mind and body. Like for Like Reading:In Siberia, Colin ThubronSky Burial, Xinran
Among the Russians is a marvellous account of a solitary journey by car from St. Petersburg and the Baltic States south to Georgia and Armenia. A gifted writer and intrepid traveller, Thubron grapples with the complexities of Russian identity and relays his extraordinary journey in characteristically lyrical style. This is an enthralling and revealing account of the habits and idiosyncrasies of a fascinating nation along with a sharp and insightful social commentary of Russian life.
Thubron travelled throughout Central Asia in the wake of the break-up of the Soviet Union and documented the widespread social upheaval in a region reeling from political change. Thubron is an inspirational writer, intrepid traveller and insightful observer and his The Lost Heart of Asia is an outstanding guide to the history, people and culture of a vast region resonating with history and politics.
Having learned Mandarin, and travelling alone by foot, bicycle and train, Colin Thubron set off on a 10,000 mile journey from Beijing to the borders of Burma. He travelled through the wind-swept wastes of the Gobi desert and finished at the far end of the Great Wall. What Thubron reveals is an astonishing diversity, a land whose still unmeasured resources strain to meet an awesome demand, and an ancient people still reeling from the devastation of the Cultural Revolution.
To the Last City is set deep in the Peruvian Andes, where five ill-prepared travellers - men and women with different values, temperaments and motives - find themselves trekking through one of the most exacting and beautiful regions on earth. It is a journey which may temper or destroy them. They confront not only their relationships with one another, but also the enigmas of the country's past, the dangers of its present, and the limitations of their own minds and bodies. The 'lost city' of their destination is Vilcabamba, last refuge of the Inca against the Spaniards, subsumed by jungle for four hundred years. In this brilliant exploration of the psychological challenges of travelling, set within the exotic jungle of South America, Colin Thubron for the first time joins his highly acclaimed talents as a travel writer with his gifts as a novelist.
Far away from the city of his birth, in a frontier town on the edge of tribal wilderness, a doctor tries to resolve the seemingly unreconcilable demands of his public career and his personal feelings. He believes his exile her to be temporary, and youthful memories of the distant city torment him with an unbearable sense of loss. Yet he has grown to love a fellow exile, a woman of fierce independence and strong will, who belongs by nature to the warmth and chaos of the frontier? But, during a summer of drought and disease, the desert erupts into savagery and he is at last confronted by the choice of returning to the city or of remaining with her.
The Emperor Constantine crosses the Alps at the head of a great army from the Rhineland in AD 312, and marches south to take Rome from the tyrant Maxentius. As he lays siege to the city of Verona, Constantine waits for the arrival of his wife, Fausta - his enemy's sister - whose cool detachment torments him. Emperor is a superbly imaginative reconstruction of the dramatic weeks leading up to Constantine's triumph in Rome. Written in the form of extracts from his own journal and letters from his empress, her frivolous female companion, his cynical secretary and a Christian bishop who is travelling with the army, the novel records a train of events which will change the world. Constantine is plagued by spiritual doubts, tortured by his wife's coldness, but he defies the omens to win a great victory at Verona and to lead his army south. On the road to Rome, the conqueror becomes the conquered as a blinding vision strikes him from his horse in an astonishing conversion to Christianity. Emperor summons up the Roman world of two thousand years ago, the everyday life of soldiers on campaign and the intrigues at court. But it is also the many-faceted story of a man's loss of faith in God and in human love, told with uncanny brilliance.