Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fran Sandham's TRAVERSA in The New York Times Book Review Summer Reading Issue

Fran Sandham's TRAVERSA: A Solo Walk Across Africa from the Skeleton Coast to the Indian Ocean, has been selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the best travel books for summer reading (June 1 issue): "Inspired by the 19th-century Scottish missionary David Livingstone, Sandham leaves his drafty London flat and his job in a West End bookshop and embarks on an open-ended journey on foot across the Namibian desert to Tanzania. along the way, he collapses from heat exhaustion, runs out of plasters to soothe his agonizing blisters, swats away tsetse flies and endure the constant stares of astonished locals. At first annoyed by the attention, Sandham begins to look himself through African eyes: “Here I am, a white guy, plodding along with an enormous pack, my trekking poles giving me the appearance of skiing down the road, the bandanna wrapped around my head making me look like something from The Pirates of Penzance. Sometimes I forget I look rather singular.” Sandham’s self-deprecation and affectionate attitude toward the people he encounters lift this book high above the vast pile of African-adventure travelogues."

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