Rory Stewart's moving, sparsely poetic account of his walk across Afghanistan in January 2002 has been immediately hailed as a classic. Caught between hostile nations, warring factions and competing ideologies, at the time, Afghanistan was in turmoil following the US invasion. Travelling entirely on foot and following the inaccessible, mountainous route once taken by the Mohgul Emperor, Babur the Great, Stewart was nearly defeated by the extreme, hostile conditions. Only due to the help of an unexpected companion and the generosity of the people he met on the way, did he survive to report back with unique insight on a region closed to the world by twenty-four years of war.
'This is traveling at its hardest and travel-writing at its best' - David Gilmour
'an astonishing achievement: a unique journey of great courage' - Colin Thubron
'wise, funny and marvelously humane' - Michael Ignatieff
'[this] evocative book feels like a long lost relic of the great age of exploration' - Guardian
'His encounters with Afghans are tragic, touching and terrifying.' - Daily Telegraph
Rory Stewart was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Malaysia. After a brief period in the British army, he joined the Foreign Office, serving in the Embassy in Indonesia and as British Representative in Montenegro, Yugoslavia. In 2002 he completed a 6,000 mile walk from Turkey to Bangladesh. His account of crossing Afghanistan on foot shortly after the US invasion, The Places In Between, was published in 2004, drew widespread acclaim, and was shortlisted for that year's Guardian First Book Award. He was awarded an OBE in 2004 for his work in Iraq. From 2006 to 2008 he lived in Kabul, where he was the Chief Executive of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation; in 2009 he was appointed to a professorial chair at Harvard University as the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights; and in 2010 he was elected as Member of Parliament for Penrith and the Border.