BOOKS

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A MONTH BY THE SEA

Over the summer of 2011, Dervla Murphy spent a month in the Gaza Strip. She met liberals and Islamists, Hamas and Fatah supporters, rich and poor. Through reported conversations she creates a vivid picture of life in this coastal fragment of self-governing Palestine. Bombed and cut-off from normal contact with the rest of the world, life in Gaza is beset with structural, medical and mental health problems, yet it is also bursting with political engagement and underwritten by an intense enjoyment of family life . . .

'Dashing in her insight, beautifully responsive to environment, supportive to people of most sorts, sometimes exceedingly funny and always gloriously Irish' TLS

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IN ETHOPIA WITH A MULE

Dervla Murphy set out with her pack-mule Jock, on a hazardous trek through Ethiopia’s remote and hostile regions.  Inspired by stories of Prester John and the Queen of Sheba, she hoped to find there beauty, danger, solitude and mystery . . .

'An admirable woman …she has a romantic soul and a keen eye.'
TLS

 

THE WAITING LAND: A Spell in Nepal

In The Waiting Land seasoned travel writer Dervla Murphy affectionately portrays the people of Nepal’s different tribes, the customs of an ancient, complex civilization and the country’s natural grandeur and beauty . . .

'Dervla Murphy is gloriously uninhibited …compulsive reading.'
Irish Times

 

WHERE THE INDUS IS YOUNG: A Winter in Baltistan

One winter, Dervla Murphy and her six-year-old daughter explored ‘Little Tibet’ high up in the Karakoram Mountains in the frozen heart of the Western Himalayas. For three months they travelled on foot and by pony along the perilous Indus Gorge and into nearby valleys . . . 

'Altogether the most appallingly fascinating travel book I have ever read.' 
The Times

 

TIBETAN FOOTHOLD

July 1963, and Dervla Murphy, one of our best-loved travel writers, arrives in a sweltering Delhi by bicycle.  Deciding that the heat precludes further cycling, she sets about finding some useful way of filling her time until the cool of November arrives . . .

'A moving and humorous account of the day-to-day vicissitudes of life and death in a refugee camp…this book is essential reading.' 
Sunday Telegraph

  The Island That Dared

THE ISLAND THAT DARED: Journeys in Cuba

Take a three-generation family holiday in Cuba in the company of Dervla Murphy, her daughter and three young granddaughters and you have a Swallows and Amazon like adventure in the Caribean as they trek into the hills and along the coast as a family, camping out on empty beaches beneath the stars and relishing the ubiquitous Cuban hospitality. . .

'Required reading for all those magnetised by dreams of a holiday in Havana.'
Condé Nast Traveller

  Full Tilt

FULL TILT: Ireland to India with a Bicycle

Her extraordinary account of a bicycle journey from Dunkirk to India in 196. First published by John Murray in 1963 and now reissued by Eland . . .

'Continuously entertaining … continuously astonishing.'
Sunday Telegraph

  Wheels Within Wheels

WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS: The Makings of a Traveller

A wonderfully funny, touching, beautifully written autobiography. Dervla Murphy writes about her richly unconventional first thirty years . . .

'An extraordinary book, reflecting an extraordinary woman and one of the great travellers of our time.'
The Times

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SILVERLAND: A Winter Journey beyond the Urals

Silverland tells of Irish septuagenarian Dervla Murphy’s intrepid midwinter journey from Moscow to the Russian Far East . . .

'Murphy’s rich narrative is a joy to read, and an ideal present for the armchair traveller.'
The Guardian

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THROUGH SIBERIA BY ACCIDENT

Through Siberia by Accident is a book about a journey that didn’t happen – and what happened instead . . .

'An excellent work from the indefatigable, indomitable, incredible Irish woman who’s still traipsing around the weird and wonderful parts of the world at the age of 73.'
Daily Mail

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THROUGH THE EMBERS OF CHAOS: Balkan Journeys

Through the Embers of Chaos is an extraordinary achievement, it describes a journey that demanded the greatest emotional and physical stamina and the result is a truly unusual view of the Balkan countryside. 

'Dervla Murphy is a brave woman and a great travel writer.'
The Spectator

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ONE FOOT IN LAOS

Dervla Murphy’s ‘inner click’ – the one that tells her it’s time to abandon whatever plans she has made and follow her instinct – leads her to little-known Laos, the most heavily bombarded country in world history . . .

'A passionate, angry book that chillingly describes a beautiful but benighted country.'
Sunday Tribune

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VISITING RWANDA

Between April and July 1994, the tiny Central African state of Rwanda experienced unprecedented carnage as more than three-quarters of a million people, mostly minority Tutsi, were killed in a carefully planned genocide . . .

'I recommend it to anyone who cares about humanity.'
Fergal Keane

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SOUTH FROM THE LIMPOPO: Travels through South Africa

When Dervla Murphy first pedalled across the Limpopo she fancied that she ‘understood’ South Africa’s problems because for more than forty years she had – from a distance – taken a particular interest in them . . .

'To call Dervla Murphy a travel writer is a serious understatement.'
Donald Woods, Sunday Times

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THE UKIMWI ROAD: From Kenya to Zimbabwe

Dervla Murphy must be the toughest female travel writer of our age.  One turns the page only twice in this latest book before finding her beaten by club-wielding paramilitary troopers as she flees a protest rally in Nairobi . . .

'Illuminating clear-headed and the best of Dervla Murphy’s four books on Africa.'
Mark Cocker, Irish Press

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TRANSYLVANIA AND BEYOND

After the fall of the Ceausescu dictatorship in 1990 Dervla Murphy spent eight important months of her life in Transylvania, immersing herself in the Roumanians’ everyday lives and culture . . .

'Perceptive about its subject, this excellent travel book incidentally reveals the indomitable' character of the author. 
The Guardian

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CAMEROON WITH EGBERT

The description of trek through western Cameroon that Dervla Murphy and her daughter undertook with the aid of an endearing Cameroonian horse they rechristened Egbert. Journeying through little known regions, the two intrepid women received invitations to become the sixth wife of a Cameroon trader, were often mistaken for husband and wife . . .

'A warm, witty and wonderfully evocative writer.' 
Daily Mail

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TALES FROM TWO CITIES

The Villa Cross was Dervla Murphy’s local pub in Handsworth, Birmingham, near the room she rented while she observed life in this most multiracial of our inner cities. Previously she had travelled in India, Nepal, Ethiopia (useful to recount to Rastas who think of it as their homeland) and Peru . . .

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IRELAND by Dervla Murphy

Dervla Murphy after taking a skinny dip in the Waterford Blackwater last year (an act of high courage in a country where the locals are not as yet entirely acclimatised to the sight of one another unclothed) was butted in the back by an irritated bullock while in the act of drying her hair . . .

'It is rare in a largely pictorial book that the illustrations should be upstaged by the text,
especially when the pictures in Ireland are as good as Klaus Franke’s.'
The Daily Telegraph

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MUDDLING THROUGH IN MADAGASCAR

True to form Dervla Murphy cracks her ribs yet again, this time in Madagascar, develops sinister swelling from the sap of Cycas thouarsii, locally known as the Man-eating Tree and diagnoses (correctly) from a sample of her urine (Guiness-dark with a good green head of foam) that she’s in for a go of hepatitis on her last day . . .

'There are few better guides for armchair travellers.'
Kieran Fagan, The Irish Independent

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EIGHT FEET IN THE ANDES

The eight feet belong to Dervla Murphy, her nine-year-old daughter Rachel and Juana, an elegant mule, who together clambered the length of Peru, from Cajamarca on the border with Ecuador, to Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital, over 1300 miles to the south . . .

'This is the best account I have read of travel on foot in the Andes.'
Traveller

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RACE TO THE FINISH?: The Nuclear Stakes

A mental and physical journey into the unfamiliar world of nuclear energy and nuclear bombs.  In simple language – it is written by a non-specialist for non-specialists.  It conveys the ‘reactions to reactors’ of someone who, thoroughly exploring the nuclear scene, was appalled by what she
found . . .

'Amazingly readable and important book … very good, very brave and very honest.'
Fay Weldon, The Guardian

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A PLACE APART

Winner of the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize, A Place Apart is a quite remarkable geographical and psychological travelogue that rises phoenix-like above history, politics, theology and economics.

'Genial, tolerant and affectionate.' 
The Times

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ON A SHOESTRING TO COORG

With her five-year-old daughter as a travelling companion, Dervla Murphy, veteran of solo journeys by mule and bicycle to some of the most inaccessible places on earth, has new but no less challenging concerns on this journey to India . . .

This is a book that makes one realize how much of the real quality of life we in the West have lost.
The Daily Telegraph