From the bestselling author of Tracks: A travel writer’s memoir of her year with the nomadic Rabari tribe on the border between Pakistan and India.
India’s Thar Desert has been the home of the Rabari herders for thousands of years. In 1990, Australian Robyn Davidson, “as natural a travel writer as she is an adventurer,” spent a year with the Rabari, whose livelihood is increasingly endangered by India’s rapid development (The New Yorker). Enduring the daily hardships of life in the desert while immersed in the austere beauty of the arid landscape, Davidson subsisted on a diet of goat milk, roti, and parasite-infested water. She collided with India’s rigid caste system and cultural idiosyncrasies, confronted extreme sleep deprivation, and fought feelings of alienation amid the nation’s isolated rural peoples—finding both intense suffering and a renewed sense of beauty and belonging among the Rabari family.
Rich with detail and honest in its depictions of cultural differences, Desert Places is an unforgettable story of fortitude in the face of struggle and an ode to the rapidly disappearing way of life of the herders of northwestern India. “Davidson will both disturb and exhilarate readers with the acuity of her observations, the sting of her wit, and the candor of her emotions” (Booklist).