Author(s): John Hopkins
"Where was it taking us? In or out of society? I had no fixed address now, didn't want one, didn't need one." It all began at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station, New York, in 1961. Two Princeton graduates, John Hopkins and Joe McPhillips, have returned from Peru, where they dreamed of buying a coffee plantation in the jungle. Not ready to return to a life of work, marriage, and mortgages, they are tempted by a mysterious letter from Kenya. Hatching a plan to ride a motorbike across NorthAfrica, they buy a sleek, white R50 BMW and paint her name--'The White Nile'--on the fuel tank, in honor of the route they plan to follow. In clear, elegant prose, Hopkins describes deadly salt deserts and fig-laden oases, disappeared travelers and the funerals of young Tunisians killed in the battle for independence. He conjures up the ghosts of ancient Rome in Leptis Magna and of Homer's Lotus Eaters in Djerba. They encounter armed vigilantes in the Tunisian desert and outrunLibyan border patrols, barely escaping with their lives. They climb the pyramids of Giza at dawn and ride the 'Desert Express' across the wastelands of the Nubian Desert, but their final adventure, at Sam Small's Impala Ranch, is perhaps the most surreal of all. Impossibly charismatic,The White Nile Diariesis an incomparable coming-of-age journey, a tantalizing glimpse into another time, when the turbulent world was an oyster for the young, brave, and free.
Praise for The Tangier Diaries: "It's a beautiful work and I am only sorry that it's not longer. I'd be exceedingly proud to have written it." Paul Bowles "Every page drips with memories." William Burroughs
John Hopkins is a writer who lived for many years in Tangier and was a central figure in the bohemian literary crowd of the '60s and '70s. He has written several novels, among them Tangier Buzzless Flies and The Flight of the Pelican. His acclaimed books, The Tangier Diaries and The South American Diaries are also published by I.B.Tauris. He lives in Oxford