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The Traveller's Tree: A Journey Through the Caribbean Islands (New York Review Books Classics)by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Synopses & Reviews
In the late 1940s Patrick Leigh Fermor, now widely regarded as one of the twentieth century’s greatest travel writers, set out to explore the then relatively little-visited islands of the Caribbean. Rather than a comprehensive political or historical study of the region, The Traveller’s Tree, Leigh Fermor’s first book, gives us his own vivid, idiosyncratic impressions of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, Barbados, Trinidad, and Haiti, among other islands. Here we watch Leigh Fermor walk the dusty roads of the countryside and the broad avenues of former colonial capitals, equally at home among the peasant and the elite, the laborer and the artist. He listens to steel drum bands, delights in the Congo dancing that closes out Havana’s Carnival, and observes vodou and Rastafarian rites, all with the generous curiosity and easy erudition that readers will recognize from his subsequent classic accounts A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water.
Originally published: London: John Murray, 1950.
In the late 1940s Patrick Leigh Fermor, now widely regarded as one of the twentieth century's greatest travel writers, set out to explore the Caribbean islands. Rather than a comprehensive political or historical study of the region, The Traveller's Tree, Leigh Fermor's first book, gives us his own vivid, idiosyncratic impressions of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, Barbados, Trinidad, and Haiti, among other islands, all set forth in prose of astonishing lyricism, wit, and descriptive power.
This picaresque adventure takes Leigh Fermor through a series of landscapes at once treacherous and sublime where he encounters an incredible host of characters and indeed whole societies.
About the Author
Patrick Leigh Fermor's books in the NYRB Classics series include A Time of Gifts, Between the Woods and the Water, Mani, Roumeli, and A Time to Keep Silence. His letters to Deborah Devonshire appear in In Tearing Haste: Letters between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor, edited by Charlotte Mosley, recently published by New York Review Books. Patrick Leigh Fermor was awarded both the Distinguished Service Order and the Order of the British Empire, and in 2004 was knighted for his services to literature and to British-Greek relations.
Joshua Jelly-Schapiro is a doctoral student in geography at the University of California, Berkeley. He has written for The New York Review of Books, The Nation, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (U.K.), and The Believer, among other publications.
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