The fishing boat that Hemingway used to trawl the Caribbean for blue-fin tuna during the last 27 years of his life was perhaps the only thing he ever loved purely in his lifetime. It saw him through three marriages, winning the Nobel Prize, alcoholism and a deeply ambivalent relationship with his son Gigi - a brilliant doctor and transvestite. In this profoundly beautiful biography, Hendrickson uses the motif of Hemingway's beloved boat to navigate the complexities of this volatile, conflicted man - his pleasures, weaknesses and insecurities.
Drawing on years of interviews and conversations with Leigh Fermor and his closest friends, this beautifully crafted biography portrays a man of extraordinary gifts - widely considered to be the greatest travel writer of our time.
Summerscale, of more recent 'Mr. Whicher' fame, was writing obituaries for the Telegraph when she came upon the extraordinary story of 'Joe' Carstairs, a unique character who became a leading light in the glamorous lesbian demi-monde of the 1920s. Tiring of her celebrity Carstairs bought the Bahamian island of Whale Cay, to which she retreated, creating her own eccentric kingdom. This is a magnificently researched and highly entertaining biography of a character that was truly stranger than fiction.
An insightful work of investigative journalism in which Bardach exposes the compelling truth of the ongoing, bloody vendetta between Miami and Havana that has persisted since Castro's rise to power. Drawing on first-hand accounts from both sides, and from both victims and perpetrators, this is a provocative portrait of Cuba that exposes some of the unglamorous realities behind its charming facade.
Beckles paints a vivid, unbiased portrait of Barbadian history from settlement, through colonisation, slave trading, independence and late 20th century nationalism. Scholarly and informed, he perhaps indulges in more economic analysis than the average reader needs, but his book remains the finest of its kind.
Taking the form of an extended, transcribed conversation with his biographer Ignacio Ramonet, this is a hugely readable and fascinating account of Castro's life in his own words. Revelling in his astonishing erudition and formidable self-belief, the Cuban leader recounts his remarkable story in epic detail.
The most recent history of Latin America from 1492, which focuses on Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Illustrated with black and white photographs and maps, the style is accessible and lively making this the perfect introduction to a traveller or student.
A concise, scholarly guide to the history, culture, philosophy and the survival of the Mayan people. Includes luxurious colour photographs and black and white illustrations of the art, jewellery and the ruins.
A magnificent anthology - comprising poetry, fiction and non-fiction - that offers a varied insight into the many charms and challenges of Cuba. Authors included here range from expat greats like Hemingway, Ginsberg and Trollope to local writers like Alma Guillermoprieto. Essential holiday reading.
Passionate and knowledgeable, Estrada has written a stunning portrait of the city, covering everything from the arrival of Columbus and his crew to Hemingway's favourite end of the bar at La Bodeguita. Of great interest regardless of whether one is planning a trip, but crucial in that event.
Fermour's leisurely 1940s sojourn through the islands is richly recounted, alive with colourful quotidianness, infused with lush nature and filled with remarkable characters. His luminous poise is present on every page, and the era he captured now all the more interesting for having passed.
The perfect companion for any traveller, this is an anthology of writings about Mexico from two centuries of literature. From Graham Greene's defence of Mexican priests to an extract from John Steinbeck's The Pearl, see Mexico through the eyes of some of the greatest modern writers.
A wonderful Eland edition of Charles Flandrau's account of the five years he spent in Mexico at the end of the 19th century. Humorous, engaging and insightful, he described the country as "one long carelessly written but absorbing romance."
An outstanding account of Cuban history ranging from the 16th century influx of conquistadores to the uncertain future heralded by Castro's looming demise. Gott is authoritative yet accessible, passionate yet balanced.
The lawless terrain of the Sierra Madre Mountains in Northern Mexico is home to drug dealers, opium farmers, Tarahumara Indians and Mormons, and once upon a time captured the heart of journalist Richard Grant. This is a refreshing, exciting and charming collection of Grantâ€™s adventures, from the hilarious to the down-right deadly.
In the 1930s Graham Greene travelled across Mexico, a country devastated by a ten-year civil war, a campaign of enforced secularisation and a series of brutal anticlerical purges. His experiences would inspire his later novel The Power and the Glory.
Guevara's diaristic account of the revolution is essential reading for anyone interested in Cuban history, as well as the man himself and his cause. Packed with anecdotal observation and pleasingly light on ideological asides, the intimate detail of the struggle is brought vividly to light.
Not only considered one of the best sports books ever written, C L R James' ode to the game of cricket is a thoughtful interplay of memoir, commentary on colonialism and exploration of West Indian culture.