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posted on 11/09/2012
John Gimlette, speaker at our forthcoming 'Travellers & Explorers' weekend in November, has won the 2012 Dolman Travel Book of Year award for Wild Coast: Travels on South America’s Untamed Edge, an account of his journeys in the Guianas.
He was awarded the £2,500 prize by Bill Dolman himself (a former chairman of the Authors’ Club) at an award ceremony held in Hatchards, Piccadilly. Chairman of the judges and founder of Lonely Planet, Tony Wheeler said of Wild Coast:
'Writing that races you through faster than you can turn the pages, a story that transports you to a place you barely knew about before, and all done with a relaxed nonchalance which totally disregards the tough travels John Gimlette’s Dolman Award winner clearly involved. Before reading ‘Wild Coast’ my Guianas knowledge could be summarised as ‘don’t drink the Kool-Aid, don’t end up on Devil’s Island, but do go there for an Ariane space launch.’ I’m way better informed today.'
John crossed the Soviet Union by train at 17 and, at 19, travelled through Argentina, Paraguay and Chile during the Falklands War. His first book, At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig: Travels in Paraguay, appeared in 2001 and, like Theatre of Fish; Travels in Newfoundland and Labrador, (2005), was nominated by The New York Times among its ‘Books of the Year’. Panther Soup is the story of a journey through Europe in the company of an American war veteran, retracing the campaign trail of 1944-45.