Travels in a Dervish Cloak

Isambard Wilkinson

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Travels in a Dervish Cloak

Isambard Wilkinson

19.95

PUBLISHED 28th September

Spellbound by his grandmother’s Anglo-Indian heritage and the exuberant annual visits of her friend the Begum, Isambard Wilkinson became enthralled by Pakistan as an intrepid teenager, eventually working there as a foreign correspondent during the War on Terror. Seeking the land behind the headlines, Bard sets out to discover the essence of a country convulsed by Islamist violence. What of the old, mystical Pakistan has survived and what has been destroyed? We meet charismatic tribal chieftains making their last stand, hereditary saints blessing prostitutes, gangster bosses in violent slums and ecstatic Muslim pilgrims.  Navigating a minefield of coups, conspiracies, cock-ups and bombs, Bard is reluctant to judge, his is a funny, hashish- and whisky-scented travel book from the frontline, full of open-hearted delight and a poignant lust for life. Like a cat with nine lives, Bard travels and parties his way to the remotest corners, never allowing his own fragile health to deter him.

At last a wonderful account of Pakistan’s riches, its mysticism, Puritanism and hedonism. As vibrant as a Baluchi market, this engaging travelogue untangles the feudal, tribal and Islamic threads of one of the most important yet misunderstood countries.
Tim Butcher, author of Blood River

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Travels in a Dervish Cloak

ISBN:   978-1-78060-078-9        

Format: 232 pp  Hardback

Author Biography

Isambard Wilkinson was born in 1971. As a young boy in Ireland, he listened to family stories of adventurous botanists and artists, sailors and soldiers who travelled through China and Africa, India and Albania. It fired an urge to roam.

Expelled from school at 15, after university he was refused entry into the Royal Marines and instead worked for Country Life magazine before leaving to travel throughout Pakistan, an ambition curtailed by kidney failure.

After a stretch on dialysis and hisfirst kidney transplant, he became aforeign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph in Spain, and then in Pakistan, where he completed his travels, the subject of this book. Following a second transplant, he now works for AFP in Hong Kong.