Friday, 12 May 2017

Following in the Footsteps of the Durrells

'It started accidentally and has continued accidentally ever since. I mean following in the footsteps of the Durrells and writing about them. It began in Cairo just before I was about to catch the train for my first visit to Alexandria. I went into the Anglo-Egyptian bookshop which had been run since 1928 by an old Copt called Sobhi Greis; business was not what it used to be and his books were piled in heaps and covered in dust. I was looking for a guidebook to Alexandria but there was no such thing, but I did pull out from the bottom of a pile a paperback copy of Lawrence Durrell’s Justine, the first volume of The Alexandria Quartet which I had read ages ago. It was the Faber edition, the one with the red cover and the handprint like you see on walls throughout Egypt, a child’s hand to avert the evil eye.'

That is how my blog post for Waterstones begins.  It tells how I accidentally came to follow in the footsteps of the Durrells, from that day in a Cairo bookshop to the recent publication of The Durrells of Corfu.  To read my full Waterstones blog post, click here.