About the book
Bruce Chatwin provides a fascinating background to indigenous Australian life. The songlines are the invisible pathways that criss-cross Australia, tracks connecting communities and following ancient boundaries. Along these lines, Aboriginals passed the songs which revealed the creation of the land and the secrets of its past. In this magical account, Chatwin recalls his travels across the length and breadth of Australia seeking to find the truth about the songs and unravel the mysteries of their stories.
That Chatwin is one of the most distinct and original writers we have is confirmed by the publication of another quite remarkable book
That Chatwin is one of the most distinct and original writers we have is confirmed by the publication of another quite remarkable book -- Nicholas Shakespeare The songlines emerge as invisible pathways connecting up all over Australia: ancient tracks made of songs which tell of the creation of the land. The Aboriginals' religious duty is ritually to travel the land, singing the Ancestors' songs: singing the world into being afresh. The Songlines is one man's impassioned song -- David Sexton * Sunday Telegraph * Chatwin is not simply describing another culture; he is also making cautious assertions about human nature. Towards the end of his life Sartre wondered why people still write novels; had he read Chatwin's he might have found new excitement in the genre -- Edmund White * Sunday Times * Chatwin delves into aspects of landscape that are beyond road signs and highways, and into a way of living that is entirely alien to the average European... those who are open to a bit of a wander will adore it * Evening Herald *
Bruce Chatwin Biography
Charles Bruce Chatwin (13 May 1940 – 18 January 1989) was an English travel writer, novelist and journalist. His first book, In Patagonia (1977), established Chatwin as a travel writer, although he considered himself instead a storyteller, interested in bringing to light unusual tales. He won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel On the Black Hill (1982), while his novel Utz (1988) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 2008 The Times ranked Chatwin as number 46 on their list of "50 Greatest British Writers Since 1945." Chatwin was born in Sheffield. After completing his secondary education at Marlborough College, he went to work at the age of 18 at Sotheby's in London, where he gained an extensive knowledge of art and eventually ran the auction house's Antiquities and Impressionist Art departments. In 1966 he left Sotheby's to read archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, but he abandoned his studies after two years to pursue a career as a writer. The Sunday Times Magazine hired Chatwin in 1972. He travelled the world for work and interviewed figures such as the politicians Indira Gandhi and André Malraux. He left the magazine in 1974 to visit Patagonia, Argentina; a trip that inspired his first book. He wrote five other books, including The Songlines (1987), about Australia, which was a bestseller. His work is credited with reviving the genre of travel writing, and his works influenced other writers such as William Dalrymple, Claudio Magris, Philip Marsden, Luis Sepúlveda, Rich Cohen, and Rory Stewart.
Early yearsChatwin was born on 13 May 1940 at the Shearwood Road Nursing Home in Sheffield, England, to Charles Leslie Chatwin, a Birmingham solicitor and Royal Naval Reserve officer during World War II, and Margharita (née Turnell), daughter of a Sheffield knife manufacturer's clerk. She was born in Sheffield and worked for the local Conservative party prior to her marriage. The Chatwin family were well known in Birmingham, with Charles Chatwin's grandfather, Julius Alfred Chatwin, an eminent architect.Chatwin's early years were spent moving regularly with his mother while his father was at sea. Prior to his birth, Chatwin's parents had lived at Barnt Green, Worcestershire, but Margharita moved to her parents' house in Dronfield, near Sheffield, shortly before giving birth. Mother and son remained there for a few weeks. Worried about The Blitz, Margharita sought a safer place to stay. She took her son with her as they travelled to stay with various relatives during the war. They would remain in one place until Margharita decided to move, either because of concern for their safety, or because of friction among family members. Later in life Chatwin recalled of the war, "Home, if we had one, was a solid black suitcase called the Rev-Robe, in which there was a corner for my clothes and my Mickey Mouse gas mask."During the war Chatwin and his mother stayed at the home of his paternal grandparents, who ... Read full biography
|Languages:||| English ||
|Publication date:||Feb. 1, 2010|
|First Publication Date:||None|
|Publication City/Country:||London, United Kingdom|