Desert Divers, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


This book follows the author on a personal journey into the Sahara and examination into the racist assumptions of those writers who have gone before him.

Taking as a metaphor the divers who cleaned out desert wells, Lindqvist drags to the surface the story of colonial slaughter and sexual exploitation which contaminate his boyhood idols.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Travel writing
  • ISBN: 9781862075078

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I was already enamoured with Lindqvist's writing in "Exterminate all the brutes" when I came across this little gem in a second-hand bookstore in Krakow.Lindqvist returns to Africa, this time concentrating his travels on the saharan regions: southern Morocco, western Algeria, and the disputed territory of Western Sahara itself. As well as his own travels, he relates the experiences of others, such as Saint-Exupery and Andre Gide.His writing is an attack on romanticism, which Lidqvist blames for many of the atrocities carried out by westerners against the locals. He makes a good point, and references obliquely some of the work he did in "Exterminate all the brutes."Despite being only a hundred and forty small pages long, there's nothing minor about Lindqvist's writing. He expresses himself cleanly and powerfully, combining fiction writing with research, excerpts from other books, and the testimony of people who lived in the time of the Saharan well-divers.

Review by

Fascinating. Lindqvist explores the personalities of those (mainly) Europeans who fell in love with the desert. A great read.

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