We think we know the Sahara, the largest and most austere desert on Earth - yet it is full of surprises, as Marq de Villiers reveals in this biography of the land and its people.
This volume provides a rich biography of the world's largest desert - its history, peoples, traditions, climate, creatures, tastes, sights and sounds. In the parched and seemingly lifeless heart of the Sahara desert, the endless dune of literary imagination, earthworms find enough moisture to survive. Four major mountain ranges interrupt the flow of dunes and gravel plains, and at certain times waterfalls cascade from their peaks; massive dunes can appear almost overnight, and then move by hopping; it spawns vast underground reservoirs and blind fish; and sudden savage storms, leave behind sand as soft as talcum powder. We think we know the Sahara, the largest and most austere desert on Earth - yet it is full of surprises, as Marq de Villiers reveals in this biography of the land and its people. Woven through de Villiers's account is a chronicle of the desert's nations and peoples: the extraordinary nomads - the Moors, the gardening sand women of Arawan, and the Tuareg (the famous "blue men") - who call the desert home today. Illuminated by eloquent written testimonies of past travellers, "Sahara" attempts to convey the majesty, mystery, history and abundance of life in what the outside world thinks of as the Great Emptiness.