For its twenty-fifth anniversary, a new edition of Bruce Chatwin's classic work with a new introduction by Rory Stewart
Part adventure, part novel of ideas, part spiritual autobiography, The Songlines is one of Bruce Chatwin's most famous books. Set in the desolate lands of the Australian Outback, it tells the story of Chatwin's search for the source and meaning of the ancient "dreaming tracks" of the Aborigines—the labyrinth of invisible pathways by which their ancestors "sang" the world into existence. This singular book, which was a New York Times bestseller when it was published in 1987, engages all of Chatwin's lifelong passions, including his obsession with travel, his interest in the nomadic way of life, and his hunger to understand man's origins and nature.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About the Author
Bruce Chatwin (1940–1989) was the author of In Patagonia, The Viceroy of Ouidah, On the Black Hill, The Songlines, and Utz. His other books are What Am I Doing Here and Anatomy of Restlessness, posthumous anthologies of shorter works, and Far Journeys, a collection of his photographs that also includes selections from his travel notebooks.
Rory Stewart is the author of The Prince of the Marshes and The Places in Between.
"A blend of travelogue, memoir, history, philosophy, science, meditation, and commonplace book...Chatwin's astonishing style captures the metamorphoses of his own 'Walkabout'....He takes the travel genre beyond exoticism and the simple picturesque into the metaphysical."—The Boston Globe
The riches of The Songlines are varied and artfully stashed. Chatwin's physical journey over Australia's parched hide corresponds to his intellectual excursions, which are full of surprising turns."—Time
"No ordinary book ever issues from Bruce Chatwin. Each bears the imprint of a dazzingly original mind."—Newsday