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A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush  (Eric Newby)

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush (Eric Newby)


In 1956 at the age of 36, Eric Newby ended his London career in fashion and decided impulsively to travel to a remote corner of Afghanistan where no Englishman had ventured for 60 years.


He sent a telegraph to his friend the diplomat Hugh Carless, then due to take up his position as First Secretary in Tehran later that year, requesting he accompany him on an expedition to Northern Afghanistan.


Inexperienced and woefully ill-prepared, the amateur explorers embarked on a month of adventure and hardship in one of the most beautiful and challenging wildernesses on earth. With self-deprecating humour, sharp wit and keen observation, A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush made Newby's reputation as one of the greatest travel writers of all time. It has sold over 500,000 copies in paperback. The book has been reprinted many times, in at least 16 English versions and in Spanish, Chinese and German editions.


About the Author

George Eric Newby CBE MC (1919 – 2006) was an English author of travel literature.


Newby was born and grew up near Hammersmith Bridge, London. His father was a partner in a firm of wholesale dressmakers. Leaving school at 16, Eric took a job with an advertising agency. But he was restless, and at 18 begged an apprenticeship on a four-masted Finnish grain ship bound for Australia. The story of that journey would become his first book, The Last Grain Race, published in 1956.


In 1942, Newby, then in the British military, was captured off the coast of Sicily. Sent to a prisoner-of-war camp in northern Italy, he caught the attention of a young local woman, Wanda Skof, whose family had come there from Slovenia. She helped him escape, and he spent several months in hiding, often living in a cave.


Eventually recaptured, Newby spent the rest of the war in prison camps in Germany and Czechoslovakia. Afterward, he returned to Italy, found Ms. Skof and married her. His memoir of that time became one of his most acclaimed books, Love and War in the Apennines (Published in 1971). The book was made into a television movie, In Love and War, broadcast on CBS in 2001.

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