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Any Dervla Murphy fans around?

(7 Posts)
Hipotle Wed 08-Jul-15 20:57:35

I just realised I have recommended her books on two separate threads this evening, so I thought I'd start a thread for anyone who wants to discuss the world's favourite intrepid-cyclist-activist-octogenarian!

I'm a big fan, and have just started to reread her Madagascar book....

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SwissArmy Wed 08-Jul-15 23:42:38

I've been a huge fan since my (distant) teens, and have met her a couple of times, and been uncharacteristically star-struck. The first I read was her Nepalese book, but I suppose my favourites are those where she travels with the young Rachel in Baltistan and the Andes, followed by Ethiopia, Cameroon and Madagascar. And of course Full Tilt.

I have to say that, reading them now as an adult, some of her attitudes strike me as pretty culturally imperialist, eg where she rails against women carrying water from the well in cans rather than more beautiful trad calabashes, or rails against 'development' because it ruins the view. The more recent ones - less exploration, more politics - are far less naive. But admittedly far less fun.

The memoir is astonishing, and her early life was highly unusual.

Selks Wed 08-Jul-15 23:47:03

I've not read any of her books for a good while, but devoured most of them a few years ago. She is an indomitable woman!

DramaAlpaca Wed 08-Jul-15 23:52:05

I read all the early ones many years ago & really enjoyed them, but haven't read anything of hers recently.

ancientbuchanan Thu 09-Jul-15 00:01:25

Love her books though I agree about the more recent ones.

I sympathise with her regrets over calabashes, but she doesn't have to live that life, indeed.

The one thing that I miss is any understanding of the religious impulse outside Buddhism. Eg she seemed to be at sea in Africa with some of the women there.

My aunt recalled her finger preached against by the local PP and bishops, however, so that doubtless explains part of it.

Fascinating about N Ireland.

Hipotle Thu 09-Jul-15 07:00:54

Definitely agree that there is a distinct shift between her earlier and later books - all great but two very different types of 'read'. I have found the very latest one especially challenging to get my teeth into but am persevering!! Agree re some of the 'naive' comments in some of the early stuff - I think that her heart is always in the right place and that she was right to identify potentially negative effects of globalisation, but that the more she grew and travelled, the more she refined her outlook on certain aspects and changed accordingly with the times. I wonder if she would call herself a humanist? I think she might....

My favourites are also the early ones with Rachel I think, and I love Baltistan and On a Shoestring to Coorg. I've met her too and was also starstruck smile

Has anyone been to any of her recent talks? I haven't but I heard some of them were ace (eg Bradford Lit Fest).

OP’s posts: |
ancientbuchanan Fri 10-Jul-15 00:02:14

Finger? No, being. Predictive iPad...

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