What am I Doing Here?

What am I Doing Here?

Paperback Vintage Classics

By (author) Bruce Chatwin

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 24mm | 322g
  • Publication date: 1 January 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099769816
  • ISBN 13: 9780099769811
  • Sales rank: 141,834

Product description

In this collection of profiles, essays and travel stories, Chatwin takes us to Benin, where he is arrested as a mercenary during a coup; to Boston to meet an LSD guru who believes he is Christ; to India with Indira Ghandi when she attempted a political comeback in 1978; and to Nepal where he reminds us that 'Man's real home is not a house, but the Road, and that life itself is a journey to be walked on foot'

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Author information

Bruce Chatwin was born in Sheffield in 1940. After attending Marlborough School he began work as a porter at Sotheby's. Eight years later, having become one of Sotheby's youngest directors, he abandoned his job to pursue his passion for world travel. Between 1972 and 1975 he worked for the Sunday Times, before announcing his next departure in a telegram: 'Gone to Patagonia for six months.' This trip inspired the first of Chatwin's books, In Patagonia, which won the Hawthornden Prize and the E.M.Forster Award and launched his writing career. Two of his books have been made into feature films: The Viceroy of Ouidah (retitled Cobra Verde), directed by Werner Herzog, and Andrew Grieve's On the Black Hill. On publication The Songlines went straight to No.1 in the Sunday Times bestseller list and remained in the top ten for nine months. On the Black Hill won the Whitbread First Novel award while his novel Utz was nominated for the 1988 Booker prize. He died in January 1989, aged forty-eight.

Review quote

"As a writer he was unclassifiably interesting: lucid, ironic, cool. He seemed to owe nothing to anybody." -- Colin Thubron Sunday Times "Chatwin is equally fascinating on places. He goes yeti-hunting in Nepal, and magnificently evokes the Himalayas' seductive harshness. He visits Afghanistan in the steps of his own favourite writer, Robert Byron, and reveals something no current news report ever succeeds in doing why anyone should want to spend time in that beautiful, tormented land...human existence at least as Chatwin sees it is gloriously open-ended, unpredictable and exotic" Sunday Times "One of its chief delights is that it contains so many of its author'sbest anecdotes, his choicest performances" -- Salman Rushdie Observer "I like the combination of its far-reaching quality and the minute precision with which his thoughts are charted" -- Rose Tremain Sunday Times "All the writing in this volume demonstrates Bruce Chatwin's loathing of the humdrum, the dreary, the predictable. What attracted him was the unusual, the weird and wonderful... the journalist in him (strongly present) knew a good story when it heard one" -- Margaret Forster Guardian

Editorial reviews

One of the greatest travellers and travel writers, who, sadly, died in 1989, recorded some of his journeys through life in this last book. He writes memorably of Malraux, Mrs Gandhi and Werner Herzog in action as he directs The Viceroy of Ouidah. His manner of observing is unique. (Kirkus UK)