On buses, donkey carts, trains, jeeps and camels, Colin Thubron traces the drifts of the first great trade route out of the heart of China into the mountains of Central Asia, across northern Afghanistan and the plains of Iran into Kurdish Turkey. Covering over 7000 miles in eight months Thurbron recounts extraordinary adventures - a near-miss with a drunk-driver, incarceration in a Chinese cell during the SARS epidemic, undergoing root canal treatment without anaesthetic in Iran - in inimitable prose. SHADOW OF THE SILK ROAD is about Asia today; a magnificent account of an ancient world in modern ferment.
Colin Thubron is the master of classic travel writing, and a previous winner of the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. His first writing was about the Middle East - Damascus, Lebanon and Cyprus. In 1982 he travelled all over Russia in an ancient Morris Marina - pursued at every stage by the KGB. From these early experiences developed his travel books- Among the Russians, Behind the Wall, The Lost Heart of Asia and In Siberia (all available in Vintage). So great is his dedication to travelling in Russia and China, that he has learned Russian and Mandarin in order to be able to speak to ordinary people en route.Colin Thubron is also a prize-winning novelist - but his travel books have a much higher profile and command much greater sales than his fiction. He lives in West London.