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Colin Thubron


Colin Thubron was born in 1940 and went to Eton. He is descended from the English poet John Dryden (his mother’s maiden name is Dryden). His father was a military attaché, posted to Canada and then to the US, and the young Thubron got his first travel experiences visiting his parents in school holidays. After Eton, Thubron went to work in publishing but soon took up travelling and started writing about his travel, increasingly seeking out more exotic locations. It is as a travel writer that he is best known and if you enjoy travel writing, most of his travel writing is well worth reading, though I would particularly recommend The Lost Heart of Asia (which should be read in conjunction with Georgie Anne Geyer’s Waiting for Winter to End and Philip Glazebrook’s Journey to Khiva, as good a trio of travel books as you are likely to find). His novel writing has been described as very English which is probably why he is little known in the United States as a novelist (his novels are not currently in print the United States), which is a pity. He alternates travel writing and novel writing.

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Colin Thubron
Colin Thubron


1967 Mirror to Damascus (travel)
1968 The Hills of Adonis: a Quest in Lebanon (travel)
1969 Jerusalem (travel)
1975 Journey into Cyprus (travel)
1977 The God in the Mountain (travel)
1978 Istanbul (travel)
1978 Emperor (novel)
1980 The Venetians (history)
1981 The Ancient Mariners (history)
1983 Among the Russians (travel)
1984 A Cruel Madness (novel)
1984 Where Nights Are Longest: Travels by Car though Western Russia (travel)
1987 Behind the Wall : a Journey through China
1989 The Silk Road, China : Beyond the Celestial Kingdom (travel)
1989 Falling (novel)
1991 Turning back the Sun (novel)
1994 The Lost Heart of Asia
1996 Distance (novel)
1999 In Siberia (travel)
2002 To the Last City (novel)
2006 Shadow of the Silk Road (travel)
2011 To a Mountain in Tibet (travel)
2016 Night of Fire (novel)
2021 The Amur River: Between Russia and China (travel)