It’s a great pleasure to welcome Colin Thubron to the Asian Review of Books podcast. Travel writer and novelist, Colin has written countless books that bring faraway sights and peoples to English-speaking readers—many of which covered regions in China, Russia, Central Asia and elsewhere on the Asian continent.
In this episode, Colin and I talk about The Amur River: Between Russia and China, which traces the path of the Amur from its origins in Mongolia to its end-point in the Pacific Ocean. We also discuss what means to be a travel writer in today’s world—which has undergone a recent and rapid expansion, and even more recent and rapid collapse, of travel.
Colin Thubron is an acclaimed travel writer and novelist, and the winner of many prizes and awards. His first books were about the Middle East—Damascus, Lebanon and Cyprus. But later he was drawn to the lands which he says his generation was brought up to fear: the Soviet Union and Communist China.
In 1982, he traveled by car into the Soviet Union, a journey described in Among the Russians (Ulverscroft, 1989). From these early experiences developed his classic travel books: Behind The Wall: A Journey Through China (Random House, 1987), The Lost Heart of Asia (Random House: 1994), In Siberia (Penguin, 2000), Shadow of the Silk Road (Chatto & Windus, 2006) and To a Mountain in Tibet (Chatto & Windus, 2011).