Conversations with Authors - Wade Davis (Virtual Event)

Sunday, September 20, 2020 - 4:00pm

Sunday, September 20th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Don George

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


Dear Friends,

I was so delighted to have had a chance to share with the Book Passage family a few thoughts on the unraveling of the American dream and all the new hopes for Colombia. Many thanks to everyone for supporting Book Passage and all the private bookstores that so value the lives of writers, but more importantly the hopes and yearnings, the curiosity and whimsy of readers, which include all of us.

I wish I could say that the books I've been reading lately were uplifting, but I've become a bit obsessed with Germany in the 1930s, and have revisited William Shirer's astonishing two volume memoir, most especially The Nightmare Years.

Colombia is always my passion and only last week I read for a third time, Oblivion, Hector Abad's excruciatingly haunting and beautiful account of his father's assassination, one of a handful of killings that shook the entire war weary country.

Somehow this led me back to Vera Brittain, author of Testament of Youth, perhaps the best book ever written on the agony of war. Vera, a nurse, served on the Western Front, even as she lost her fiancée, Roland, her two best friends from Oxford, and finally her beloved brother Edward. By 1918, she wrote, there was no one left to dance with.  The war, wrote Roland in a letter to Vera, “distilled all youth and joy and life into a fetid heap of hideous putrescence.” Testament of Youth traces a journey from innocence through horror, agony to revelation. It is to my mind the most poignant and heartrending memoire to emerge from the Great War.

In these uncertain times, I find solace in history, which tells us that no matter how bad things may appear to be in the moment, they have often been far worse, and every time of despair only serves to unveil new horizons of hope.

All best wishes,


Below, please find links to purchase their books, as well as Wade's recommended titles.



Nightmare Years: 1930 - 1940 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781841581224
Availability: Special Order
Published: Birlinn Publishers - November 1st, 2002

Oblivion: A Memoir Cover Image
By Héctor Abad, Anne McLean (Translated by), Rosalind Harvey (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780374533939
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 14th, 2013

Testament of Youth Cover Image
By Vera Brittain, Mark Bostridge (Introduction by), Shirley Williams (Preface by)
ISBN: 9780143039235
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - May 31st, 2005

Magdalena: River of Dreams: A Story of Colombia Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375410994
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - September 15th, 2020

River Notes: A Natural and Human History of the Colorado Cover Image
ISBN: 9781610910200
Availability: Special Order
Published: Island Press - October 15th, 2013

Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375708152
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - October 2nd, 2012

The Sacred Headwaters: The Fight to Save the Stikine, Skeena, and Nass Cover Image
By Wade Davis, Carr Clifton (Photographer), Jr. Kennedy, Robert F. (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781771640237
Availability: Special Order
Published: Greystone Books - May 5th, 2015

The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World (CBC Massey Lectures) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780887847660
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: House of Anansi Press - October 13th, 2009

One River Cover Image
ISBN: 9780684834962
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 5th, 1997

The Serpent and the Rainbow Cover Image
ISBN: 9780684839295
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 5th, 1997

Shadows in the Sun: Travels to Landscapes of Spirit and Desire Cover Image
ISBN: 9781597263924
Availability: Special Order
Published: Shearwater - October 12th, 2010

Light at the Edge of the World: A Journey Through the Realm of Vanishing Cultures Cover Image
ISBN: 9781553652670
Availability: Special Order
Published: Douglas & McIntyre - February 7th, 2007

Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807842102
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of North Carolina Press - May 27th, 1988

The Lost Amazon: The Pioneering Expeditions of Richard Evans Schultes Cover Image
By Wade Davis, Richard Evans Schultes (By (photographer))
ISBN: 9781608876549
Availability: Special Order
Published: Earth Aware Editions - May 10th, 2016

The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George Cover Image
By Don George, Pico Iyer (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781609521059
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Travelers' Tales - September 8th, 2015