Desert Divers | Granta

  • Published: 11/04/2002
  • ISBN: 9781862075078
  • 130x20mm
  • 144 pages

Desert Divers

Sven Lindqvist

Translated by Joan Tate

In the first half of the twentieth centruy, European writers plunged into the stony, baking expanse of the Sahara, drawn by their own strange dreams. What did they hope to find? And what was really there?

In Desert Divers – part travel book, part literary history and part confession – Sven Lindqvist follows their paths into the Sahara and drags to the surface the history of colonial slaughter and exploitation that enabled Europeans to conduct their one-sided affair with the desert.

A polemical adventure in travel, criticism and autobiography, Desert Divers opens up a vast discursive territory. It is gripping from start to finish

Geoff Dyer

A poem to the Sahara, and those whom it has obsessed; language as bare and hard as sand and gravel ... Sensational


Sven Lindqvist is one of the most original and imaginative authors working at the end of the twentieth century

Richard Gott

The Author

Sven Lindqvist (1932-2019) was born in Stockholm, and travelled extensively through Asia, Africa and Latin America. He was the author of thirty books, including A History of Bombing, Desert Divers, which was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, and Exterminate All the Brutes, which formed the basis of a major HBO four-part documentary series by Academy Award-nominated writer and director Raoul Peck.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Sven Lindqvist on

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

To Zinder

Sven Lindqvist

Obsessed with a single line from Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness – Kurtz’s injunction to ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’ – Sven Lindqvist set out across Central Africa, and wrote a book that revealed precisely what Europe’s imperial powers had exacted on Africa’s people over the course of the preceding two centuries.