From a “nomad who pursues every form of transportation imaginable to follow Africa’s longest river,” The Black Nile is “an evocative piece of reporting…a portrait of a fractured country just one spark away from a renewal of hostilities.” –Joshua Hammer, The New York Times Sunday Book Review
* Dan Morrison takes the reader on an incredible journey in The Black Nile. Weaving together intense travel writing and history, he has produced a supremely entertaining work, and also an important one. –David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z and The Devil and Sherlock Holmes
* Morrison’s experience as a journalist shines through, as does his use of humor, which frames subjects of utter horror…This is Morrison at his best, lean and hungry in wild wastelands of Africa’s Sahel. –Tahir Shah in The Washington Post
* This is hard-core African travel . . . [With] Mr. Morrison’s peppery anecdotes, his refreshing honesty and his ability to show how Africans view their difficulties . . . the book gives us a compelling portrait of life along the Nile—from lonely fishing communities on Lake Victoria to the cacophonous collisions of Cairo. —Hugh Pope, Wall Street Journal
* Captures the sun-baked, hallucinatory aura that slow boat travel can induce . . . [and] excels in bringing the place, politics and history of this fragile region alive.” —Ethan Gilsdorf, Boston Globe
* Marvelous . . . A beautifully written tale of an American on a journey to find out who else is out there, what they’re thinking, why they do what they do . . . Every time you think a stretch of Africa is beyond redemption, Morrison strikes up a conversation with another thoughtful pilgrim with funny, interesting, and often hopeful things to say. —Tom Robbins, The Village Voice
* Beautifully written. A masterful narrative of investigative reportage, travel writing, and contemporary history. . . . The Black Nile is all at once thrilling, sad, and—most of all—thoughtful. —The Daily Beast
* Part On the Road, part Fear and Loathing in Africa, Dan Morrison takes us with him on his journey down the Nile–teaching us, by example, to be explorers of both the world and ourselves. –Kevin Sites, Author of In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars
* The Black Nile is eye-opening, breath-taking, heart-pounding and, frankly, all the adventure I’m up for now. –Ellis Henican, Fox News Channel and Newsday
* Fasten your seat belts, readers! — Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Coming Plague
3,600 miles of hair-raising spectacle and adventure from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea
With news of tenuous peace in Sudan, foreign correspondent Dan Morrison bought a plank-board boat, summoned a childhood friend who’d never been off American soil, and set out from Uganda, paddling the White Nile on a quest toward Cairo—a trip that tyranny and war had made impossible for decades.
Morrison’s chronicle is a mash-up of travel narrative and reportage, packed with flights into the frightful and the absurd. Through river mud that engulfs him and burning marshlands that darken the sky, he tracks the snarl of commonalities and conflicts that bleed across the Nile valley, bringing to life the waters that connect the hardscrabble fishing villages of Lake Victoria to the floating Cairo nightclubs where headscarved mothers are entertained by gyrating male dancers. In between are places and lives invisible to the cable news and opinion blogs: a hidden oil war that has erased entire towns, secret dams that will flood still more, and contested borderlands where acts of compassion and ingenuity defy appalling hardship and waste of life. As Morrison dodges every imaginable hazard, from militia gunfire to squalls of sand, his mishaps unfold in strange harmony with the breathtaking range of individuals he meets along the way. Relaying the voices of Sudanese freedom fighters and escaped Ugandan sex slaves, desert tribesmen and Egyptian tomb raiders, The Black Nile culminates in a visceral understanding of one of the world’s most elusive hotspots, where millions strive to claw their way from war and poverty to something better—if only they could agree what that something is, whom to share it with, and how to get there.
With the propulsive force of a thriller, The Black Nile is rife with humor, humanity, and fervid insight—an unparalleled portrait of a complex territory in profound transition.