Silverland charts Dervla Murphy's extraordinary expedition through the snowscapes of Far Eastern Russia. No stranger to adventure, the intrepid septuagenarian s mid-winter journey takes her beyond Siberia to the furthest corners of Russia areas proximate to Japan, Mongolia and the Arctic Circle. Here she discovers a strange world of lynx and elks, indigenous tribes and shamanism, reindeer broth and taiga-berry pie.
She takes the coal-fuelled slow-train around regions hardly exposed to tourism and there she meets a host of colourful and generous characters. They invite this unconventional Irish Babushka into their homes where she enjoys fascinating fireside debate bolstered by steaming samovars of sweet tea. Just like its author, Silverland is insightful, warm and truly original.
It is Murphy's caustic opinions which make this book ...Dervla Murphy is a free-thinking traveller, at once a romantic and a realist, extraordinary for her determination to cross Eurasia at the age of 75 with only her walking sticks and a smattering of Russian ... One hopes that the new generation will inherit her indefatigable spirit and gift for good crack - Rory MacLean, Sunday Telegraph
One of Britain's best loved travel writers is back - Bookseller
What is so delightful about Murphy is her perennial curiosity, her ability to make friends and her powers of description. This intimate and closely observed picture of the far reaches of Russia is a joy to read. It's always a great privilege to travel in the company of Dervla Murphy. - Publishing News
Murphy's great skill is her ability to win the friendship of locals in small town ... she remains a formidably intrepid traveller - James Owen, Daily Telegraph
To say that she is intrepid is an understatement ... she writes with humour and empathy ... A delightfully idiosyncratic piece of writing - Clover Stroud, Sunday Telegraph
Outstanding ... richly illuminated by the blend of erudition and sympathy - Celia Brayfield, The Times
I've always thought the underlying strength of Murphy's writing is her genuine awe of people living in extremis, and her stalwart rejection of Western European and US squanderlust - Louisa Waugh, Herald
Dervla Murphy is the traveller many of us want to be: independent, insightful and intrepid with an ability to gain something edifying from almost any situation - Ruby Millington, Daily Express