It was the legendary traveller Wilfred Thesiger who first introduced Gavin Young to the Marshes of Iraq. Since then Young has been entranced by both the beauty of the Marshes and by the Marsh Arabs who inhabit them, a people whose lifestyle is almost unchanged from that of their predecessors, the Ancient Sumerians.
On his return to the Marshes some years later Gavin Young found that the twentieth-century had rudely intruded on this lifestyle and that war was threatening to make the Marsh Arabs existence extinct. Return to the Marshes, first published in 1977, is at once a moving tribute to a unique way of life as well as a love story to a place and its people.
'A superbly written essay which combines warmth of personal tone, a good deal of easy historical scholarship and a talent for vivid description rarely found outside good fiction.' Jonathan Raban, Sunday Times