Martinique Stilwell is the author of Thinking Up a Hurricane, a memoir of her childhood spent sailing round the world with her family.
In Wild Coast: Travels on South America’s Untamed Edge, John Gimlette, an English barrister, sloshes around the Guianas traversing “slicks of brilliant ooze, grass like green fire, liverish pools and succulent bogs rimmed with pink”, visiting, among other places, the site of the Jonestown mass suicide, where 900 cult members took their lives in 1978 by drinking cyanide-laced cool drink.
Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity is a gripping non-fiction work by Katherine Boo describing slum dwellers struggling to get ahead in an age of globalisation, and how weak governments and corruption erode not only individual promise but also the morality of a society.
I recently reread William Boyd’s first novel, A Good Man in Africa. When the dishevelled protagonist, wearing a filthy Father Christmas outfit, is discovered cowering in the shower by the ageing, naked duchess (“breasts like empty socks … a grey Brillo pad”) I collapsed with laughter.
- Thinking Up a Hurricane is published by Penguin
- Thinking Up a Hurricane by Martinique Stilwell
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