By Rosemary Mahoney
While Rosemary Mahoney, in 1998, took a solo journey down the Nile in a seven-foot rowboat, she came across sleek Egypt for herself. As a rower, she confronted crocodiles and testy river currents; as a feminine, she faced deeply-held ideals approximately overseas girls whereas carefully ultimate open to real friendship; and, as a traveller, she skilled occasions that ranged from the funny to the hair-raising--including an come upon that started as essentially the most scary of her lifestyles and ended as an edifying and chastening lesson in human nature and cultural false impression. even if she's assembly Nubians and Egyptians, or discovering connections to Westerners who traveled up the Nile in prior times--Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert between them--Mahoney's proficient interest in regards to the international by no means ceases to captivate the reader.
"Mahoney, who has been rowing for 10 years, brilliantly juxtaposes an account of her personal palm-blistering hours at the Nile....with the diary entries of 2 Victorian travelers-Gustave Flaubert and Florence Nightingale."
--Lisa Fugard, ny instances booklet Review
About the author
Rosemary Mahoney is the writer of The Early Arrival of desires, a brand new York instances amazing e-book in 1990; Whoredom in Kimmage, a countrywide publication Critics Circle Award finalist in 1994; a possible tale: One summer time with Lillian Hellman; and The Singular Pilgrim: Travels on Sacred flooring. She has bought a Whiting Writer's Award.
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Additional info for Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff
Why no? The phrases spilled out of them in perfectly inflected American English. At that time tourists were scarce in Egypt because of the rising fear of terrorism, and beneath the suave and chattering bravado the captains’ voices had the despairing ring of the mendicant’s plea. At any one time there might be thirty captains poised on a dock, waiting in vain for work. The very sight of them was coercive. Wondering how they survived, I felt a strong obligation to take their felucca rides. Whenever I declined and walked on, the captains reduced the already pathetically low five-pound fare to three, making me feel instantly stingy, though my declinations were never a matter of money.
Written chiefly to family and friends in England, the letters revealed a curious, keenly observant mind and an enormous range of knowledge. Nightingale was already well traveled before she went to Egypt, spoke several languages, and was astonishingly well read. She was adventuresome and passionate. She had, above all, a wicked sense of humor, which surprised and delighted me. Her characterizations were sharp, subtle, often comical. Her interests were many and various: artistic, philosophical, spiritual, and temporal.
Captains and dragomans were famous for driving a hard bargain. ” In a letter to his mother Flaubert wrote, “I’m going to Bulak to see a few [boats]. It is no slight matter . . ” The dahabieh of the mid-nineteenth century was similar in design to the boats used by the pharaohs, a long, manycompartmented sort of floating house that could be either rowed or sailed. The largest of them reached one hundred feet in length and twenty feet in width. At their prows they had places for a dozen oarsmen who would row, galley fashion, when the wind failed.
Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff by Rosemary Mahoney