When Tim Ecott's family uprooted fromNorthern Ireland in 1977, they thought they were leaving behind their troubled lives, including the physical threat to Tim's father's life posed by the IRA. They hoped to exchange a hum-drum suburban existence of mortgage debts and small-town society for sunshine and servants in an ex-pat African setting. But, just six months after arriving inJohannesburg they were bankrupt, evicted from their home, and had most of their possessions confiscated by the bailiffs. Whilst friends and relatives inBritain imagined that they were living privileged lives, Tim Ecott and his family often went hungry. Forced to survive on their wits, the family entered a twilight world where their true friends were prostitutes, thieves and renegades. Stealing Water is about family, and what holds them together; it is the story of how the worst of times can become the most important and valuable period of a person's life.
Tim Ecott is a journalist and a writer. Initially specialising in Africa for the BBC World Service, he now writes for a wide range of publications including The Economist", The Guardian" and Conde Nast Traveller". He was the script-writer for the much-acclaimed film, Deep Blue", and has written two books: Neutral Buoyancy" is a bestselling exploration into the underwater world, and Vanilla" is the history of the bean that changed the culinary face of the world.