“At the same time I grew increasingly dissatisfied and irritable with what we are prone to call normal life. Except for wine, music, and books, I disliked shopping. Television grated on my nerves, the commercials in particular, so I got rid of the television. I found it harder and harder to rouse any interest in sports, celebrities, electronic gadgets, the chatter of the culture, the latest this or that. Nor did I have any desire to own a house, or get rich, or start a family. I wanted to keep traveling and see the world, live an eventful, unpredictable life with as much personal freedom as possible, and have a few adventures along the way.”
- Richard Grant, God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre
ABOUT RICHARD GRANT
Richard Grant is a freelance British travel writer, with frequent publications in Men’s Journal, New York Times, Smithsonian magazine, the Telegraph UK, and Al Jazeera US, among others. He grew up in Malaysia and London but has lived in the United States for a while, and he and his wife Mariah now live in Mississippi. Much of his work revolves around the impulse to wander. His first book, American Nomads (2003), explores the lives of those who choose to live on the road. His next book, God’s Middle Finger (2008), recounts his travels through a dangerous and lawless part of northwestern Mexico. His third book, Crazy River: Exploration and Folly in East Africa (2011) covers an attempt at the first descent of a river in Tanzania. And his fourth book, Dispatches from Pluto (2015), takes him back to his spur of the moment decision to move to Pluto, Mississippi. Grant has recently extended his career to television, writing the script for a BBC documentary based on American Nomads. He also consulted for an award documentary called Omo Child: The River and Bush about ending infanticide in Ethiopia.
A5 RECOMMENDATIONS - RICHARD GRANT BOOKS
GREAT QUOTES FROM RICHARD GRANT
"The questions I ask about Africa are very different now, but I have no solutions. All I can offer are the experiences of a traveler who fell backward out of the safari bubble, struggled to keep his balance, tried to keep his eyes open, fell short of most of his objectives, and blundered his way in a spellbound daze toward a hole in the ground.”
- Richard Grant, Crazy River: Exploration and Folly in East Africa
“‘Moving about constantly, as in search of pasture…’ The description captures something of the American spirit. Wanderlust runs through the country’s history like a virus, mutating across time, reshaping families and communities, opening up territories and opportunities. American literature, music and film all know the call of the road..”
- Richard Grant, in an essay on Aeon called "The Call of the Road"
"Every time, I marvel at the power and beauty of the language, as the insects shriek and whine and patter against the windowpanes, and I sip that chilled amber nectar with the owls hooting, and the bullfrogs singing in the swamps, and that bitter old lady in her wisteria-clad house with her legs hanging down like irons, telling a tale that could only take place in Mississippi."
- Richard Grant, in an essay on Signature called "Finding the True Power of Literature in "Mr. Bill" Faulkner"