Bruce Chatwin, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Bruce Chatwin's death from AIDS in 1989 brought a meteoric career to an abrupt end, since he burst onto the literary scene in 1977 with his first book, In Patagonia.

Chatwin himself was different things to different people: a journalist, a photographer, an art collector, a restless traveller and a best-selling author; he was also a married man, an active homosexual, a socialite who loved to mix with the rich and famous, and a single-minded loner who explored the limits of extreme solitude.

From unrestricted access to Chatwin's private notebooks, diaries and letters, Nicholas Shakespeare has compiled the definitive biography of one of the most charismatic and elusive literary figures of our time.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 656 pages, illustrations facsimiles, geneal. table, portraits
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: general
  • ISBN: 9780099289975



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Competent and very readable biography that tries to make sense of a complicated, contradictory character. Written with the co-operation of Chatwin's widow and his parents, so it tells us a lot more about his early days than literary biographies usually manage to do. On the other hand, Shakespeare clearly feels obliged to present Chatwin's wife as a long-suffering saint: possibly another biographer with more freedom to act could give us a bit more perspective.

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