All the Roads are Open
Author: Annemarie Schwarzenbach
Translated by Isabel Fargo Cole
9780857428226 | PB | pp. 140+xviii | 2021 | Seagull Books
All the Roads are Open describes the authors travel to Afghanistan from 1939-1940. Schwarzenbach conjures up the desolate beauty of landscapes both internal and external, reflecting on the longings and loneliness of travel as well as its grace.
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In June 1939 Annemarie Schwarzenbach and fellow writer Ella Maillart set out from Geneva in a Ford, heading for Afghanistan. The first women to travel Afghanistan’s Northern Road, they fled the storm brewing in Europe to seek a place untouched by what they considered to be Western neuroses.
The Afghan journey documented in All the Roads Are Open is one of the most important episodes of Schwarzenbach’s turbulent life. Her incisive, lyrical essays offer a unique glimpse of an Afghanistan already touched by the “fateful laws known as progress,” a remote yet “sensitive nerve centre of world politics” caught amid great powers in upheaval. In her writings, Schwarzenbach conjures up the desolate beauty of landscapes both internal and external, reflecting on the longings and loneliness of travel as well as its grace.
Maillart’s account of their trip, The Cruel Way, stands as a classic of travel literature, and, now available for the first time in English, Schwarzenbach’s memoir rounds out the story of the adventure.
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About the Contributors
The author (1908-1942) was a Swiss writer, journalist and photographer and worked periodically as an archaeologist.
The translator is a US-based writer and initiator and co-editor of www.no-mans-land.org, the online magazine form new German literature in English.
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