Synopses & Reviews
For its twenty-fifth anniversary, a new edition of Bruce Chatwin's classic work with a new introduction by Rory Stewart
Part adventure, part novel of ideas, part spiritual autobiography, The Songlines is one of Bruce Chatwin's most famous books. Set in the desolate lands of the Australian Outback, it tells the story of Chatwin's search for the source and meaning of the ancient "dreaming tracks" of the Aborigines—the labyrinth of invisible pathways by which their ancestors "sang" the world into existence. This singular book, which was a New York Times bestseller when it was published in 1987, engages all of Chatwin's lifelong passions, including his obsession with travel, his interest in the nomadic way of life, and his hunger to understand man's origins and nature.
"A blend of travelogue, memoir, history, philosophy, science, meditation, and commonplace book...Chatwin's astonishing style captures the metamorphoses of his own 'Walkabout'....He takes the travel genre beyond exoticism and the simple picturesque into the metaphysical." —The Boston Globe
The riches of The Songlines are varied and artfully stashed. Chatwin's physical journey over Australia's parched hide corresponds to his intellectual excursions, which are full of surprising turns." —Time
"No ordinary book ever issues from Bruce Chatwin. Each bears the imprint of a dazzingly original mind." —Newsday
Bruce Chatwin—author of In Patagonia
—ventures into the desolate land of Outback Australia to learn the meaning of the Aborginals' ancient "Dreaming-tracks." Along these timeless paths, amongst the fortune hunters and redneck Australians, racist policemen and mysterious Aboriginal holy men, he discovers a wondrous vision of man's place in the world.
About the Author
Bruce Chatwin (1940-1989) was the author of In Patagonia, The Viceroy of Ouidah, On the Black Hill, The Songlines, and Utz. His other books are What Am I Doing Here and Anatomy of Restlessness, posthumous anthologies of shorter works, and Far Journeys, a collection of his photographs that also includes selections from his travel notebooks.