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Magdalena by Wade Davis


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Magdalena by Wade Davis
Hardcover $30.00
Sep 15, 2020 | ISBN 9780375410994

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  • Sep 15, 2020 | ISBN 9780375410994

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“[A] deeply inquisitive, dazzlingly fluent scientific, cultural, and spiritual investigation… This far-reaching, centuries-encompassing river biography is shaped by Davis’ love for Colombia… Always with a discerning eye to the symbolic and metaphorical, Davis tells the river’s saga of fecundity and horror through the lives of remarkable individuals past and present… Throughout Davis emphasizes Colombia’s many Indigenous peoples and their abiding belief that protecting the river is a sacred duty. The story of Magdalena…  is that of an epic struggle between the sacred and the profane, between worship and preservation and reckless exploitation and wanton abuse.”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist

“This shimmering portrait of the Río Magdalena, evoking its moods and depths, ultimately reveals the complicated nation those waters sustain and reflect. Never wincing from dark histories, yet never abandoning hope, Wade Davis shows us why Colombia stole his heart as a young traveler and holds it still.”
—Kate Harris, author of Lands of Lost Borders

“After all our agonies, Wade Davis, through the evocative power of his writing, and the clarity of his understanding, gives us all reason to once again love Colombia. That is the wonder of his book, which in many ways reads as a love letter to a nation.”          
—Hector Abad, author of Oblivion

“Few people can interpret Colombia, this most complicated of countries, as Wade Davis does; fewer people still can write about it with such empathy, knowledge and grace. Magdalena is the ultimate proof that Colombia’s present and past are inextricably linked to the larger fate of the American continent. To say that the book deserves to be read is perhaps inaccurate; I’d rather say that anyone who wishes to understand this mysterious corner of the world deserves Magdalena. It is a capacious, generous and illuminating book.”
—Juan Gabriel Vásquez, author of The Sound of Things Falling

“Davis is a natural, engaging storyteller… the book is also an affecting account of on-the-ground exploration. The author skillfully weaves in accounts by academics, who have studied the vicissitudes of the river, and by the people who have lived and toiled along its shores… This remarkable river has endured eras of massive extermination, erosion, damming, and pollution, but it has emerged renewed thanks to a people’s spirit and resilience. An elegant narrative masterfully combining fine reporting and a moving personal journey.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred

“Ardent… Davis stocks his lively narrative with piquant characters, dramatic historical set pieces, and lyrical nature writing… The result is a rich, fascinating study of how nature and a people shape each other.”
Publishers Weekly, starred

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