The Way of the World

Nicolas Bouvier (1929–1998)
The Way of the World
Translated from the French by Robyn Marsack
Marlboro, VT: Marlboro Press, 1992

In 1953, a young Swiss writer and his artist friend get in a rattletrap Fiat and take off for the Khyber Pass on less than a shoestring. This most intelligent and literary travelogue charts their journey through the Balkans, Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan, including six months overwintering in Tabriz, waiting for the passes to clear so they can continue on their way. He has a poetic sensibility, a masterful style, and an acute eye for tribal personalities (Kurds, Armenians, Afghans, Persians) and individual character. I spent five years of my childhood in the Middle East, not too long after Bouvier passed through, and he revived memories that had been long submerged. A masterpiece of travel writing.

Joan Kreiss (member)
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