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About the Author: Bruce Chatwin

Charles Bruce Chatwin was an English novelist and travel writer. He won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel On the Black Hill (1982). In 1972, Chatwin interviewed the 93-year-old architect and designer Eileen Gray in her Paris salon, where he noticed a map of the area of South America called Patagonia, which she had painted. "I've always wanted to go there," Bruce told her. "So have I," she replied, "go there for me." Two years later in November 1974, Chatwin flew out to Lima in Peru, and reached Patagonia a month later. When he arrived, he left the newspaper with a telegram: "Have gone to Patagonia." He spent six months in the area, a trip which resulted in the book In Patagonia (1977). This work established his reputation as a travel writer. Later, however, residents in the region contradicted the account of events depicted in Chatwin's book. It was the first time in his career, but not the last, that conversations and characters which Chatwin presented as fact were alleged to have been fictionalised. Later works included a novel based on the slave trade, The Viceroy of Ouidah, which he researched with extended stays in Benin, West Africa. For The Songlines (1987), a work combining fiction and non-fiction, Chatwin went to Australia. He studied the culture to express how the songs of the Aborigines are a cross between a creation myth, an atlas and an Aboriginal man's personal story. He also related the travelling expressed in The Songlines to his own travels and the long nomadic past of humans. Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, his novel On the Black Hill (1982) was set closer to home, in the hill farms of the Welsh Borders. It focuses on the relationship between twin brothers, Lewis and Benjamin, who grow up isolated from the course of twentieth century history. Utz (1988), was a novel about the obsession that leads people to collect. Set in Prague, the novel details the life and death of Kaspar Utz, a man obsessed with his collection of Meissen porcelain. Chatwin was working on a number of new ideas for future novels at the time of his death from AIDS in 1989, including a transcontinental epic, provisionally titled Lydia Livingstone.


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, by Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH

ISBN10: 3596103649 | ISBN13: 9783596103645

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