On the Plain of Snakes
WINNER OF THE EDWARD STANFORD AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO TRAVEL WRITING 2020
The master of contemporary travel writing, Paul Theroux, immerses himself in the beautiful and troubled heart of modern Mexico
Nogales is a border town caught between Mexico and the United States of America. A forty-foot steel fence runs through its centre, separating the prosperous US side from the impoverished Mexican side. It is a fascinating site of tension, now more than ever, as the town fills with hopeful border crossers and the deportees who have been caught and brought back. And it is here that Paul Theroux will begin his journey into the culturally rich but troubled heart of modern Mexico.
Moving through the deserts just south of the Arizona border, Theroux finds a place brimming with charm, yet visibly marked by both the US border patrol looming to the north and mounting discord from within. Attending local language and culinary schools, driving through the country and meeting its people, Paul Theroux gets under the skin of Mexico.
From the writer praised for his ‘curiosity and affection for humanity in all its forms’ (New York Times Book Review), On The Plain of Snakes is an urgent and mesmerising exploration of a region in conflict.
Praise for Paul Theroux:
‘As cool as Maugham… as observant, intuitive, wry, inventive and eloquent as Graham Greene’ Sunday Times
‘Theroux’s work remains the standard by which other travel writing must be judged’ Observer
‘The world’s most perceptive travel writer’ Daily Mail
‘One of the most accomplished and worldly-wise writers of his generation’ The Times
Countless lovely descriptions of Mexico's landscapes and insights into the country's history and literature... Illuminating, literate, and timely-a must-read for those interested in what's going on inside Mexico * Kirkus * [A] dark-edged but ultimately hopeful travelogue... Armchair travelers will find an astute, familiar guide in Theroux * Publisher's Weekly * The world's most perceptive travel writer * Daily Mail * [Theroux's] ability to sum up a people or a city in a few lines is undiminished * Daily Telegraph on 'Deep South' * Theroux's work remains the standard by which other travel writing must be judged * Observer * Filled with compassion and wit, this is a warm and insightful account of contemporary Mexican culture, politics and everyday life. * Sunday Times *
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