Writing the Silk Road: Colin Thubron in conversation with Tash Aw

Filed under: Non-fiction

In the spring of 2003, Colin Thubron embarked on possibly the most ambitious journey he has ever undertaken. Starting at the Tomb of the Yellow Emperor, in the heart of China, he crossed Central Asia, northern Afghanistan, the plains of Iran and Kurdish Turkey to the ancient Mediterranean port of Antioch. Shadow of the Silk Road, published this month, is his magnificent account of this eight-month, 7,000-mile, adventure. With Tash Aw, whose first novel The Harmony Silk Factory was published to great acclaim last year, he discusses literary and cultural trade between east and west, reflects on ancient worlds in modern ferment, and looks back over forty years of travel writing.

Recorded Monday 25 September 2006.

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Colin Thubron 1969