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Chatwin, Bruce - In Patagonia - ( Item 126666 )

Published in London by Folio Society. 2016. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Quarter-bound in cloth with Covera Flute paper sides. Set in Iowan Old Style. 264 pages. Frontispiece and 16 photographs. 8¾" x 5½". Described by the Guardian as 'the book that redefined travel writing', Chatwin’s idiosyncratic account of Patagonia thrums with surprising details and literary finesse. Featuring 22 photographs by the author, 9 of which are previously unpublished. As a child, Bruce Chatwin was fascinated by a curio in his grandmother’s china cabinet – a piece of supposed brontosaurus hide, brought home by a relative at the end of the 19th century. The alleged dinosaur (which turned out to be a giant sloth) had been found sticking out of the ice in Patagonia, and for Chatwin it sparked a lifelong fascination with the place. In 1974 he abandoned his career at The Sunday Times and, as he put it, 'ran away to South America' – the result was the highly original, witty and enigmatic In Patagonia. The book marked a turning away from the approach traditionally taken by travel writers. Rather than a linear narrative of exploration and pedestrian description, its elegant literary style created something unusual and unorthodox; a story told almost in vignettes, bound up with the personality of the author. Chatwin described Patagonia as 'a symbol of restlessness', a magnet for oddballs and fugitives, and in a series of short, vivid chapters he explores the stories of the wildly varied inhabitants of the region: the Welsh farmers who established a community there in the 1860s, the Russian doctors, the sheep farmers and the gauchos, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, who reputedly spent their last days in Patagonia. Chatwin was also a talented photographer, collecting images that captured the beautiful and often unexpected highlights of his journey. For this edition, we have sourced 22 photographs by Chatwin, 9 of which have never been published before. Travel writer William Dalrymple, whose In Xanadu chronicled his expedition to the site of Kubla Khan’s legendary palace, has provided a warm and perceptive introduction, describing Chatwin as 'a great showy Bird of Paradise amid the grey sparrows of the present English literary scene'.

Price £ 34.70                 Other items you may like                 Others by the same author

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