Quentin Crewe

Birds Drop from the Skies

A Desert Dies

By Michael Asher

Viking 368pp £12.95 order from our bookshop

In the southern Darfur in Sudan, in 1982, l lay for a week giggling with malaria. l had planned to travel north, through El Fasher and on to where the Kababish wandered; then perhaps on the old Forty Days Road to Egypt. Had l gone, which the total absence of petrol prevented, I might have met Michael Asher.

He would have looked at me with disdain, for I would have been in a Land Rover, with European friends, encapsulated to a great extent in my own culture. Mr Asher would have been on a camel, by himself or with a Nurabi, a Nas Wad Hayder or even a perfidious Sarajabi.

Donmar Warehouse


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