by Bruce Chatwin
In BriefA study of the impulse to travel to the farthest ends of the earth. Chatwin's convention-breaking book can be read as a simple travelogue of his own journey through southern Argentina and Chile; or as an examination of emigration and escape, featuring colonists, fantasists, bandits, as well as ordinary men and women seeking a better life far from their place of birth.
Why you should read itA tremendous book that has developed parallel reputations as the redefinition of travel writing and as a fanciful deceit. But whether you conclude that Chatwin told only half the truth, or as his biographer Nicholas Shakespeare brilliantly puts it, 'the truth and a half,' it is one of the most important and beautifully written "travel" books of the last 50 years.