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  • MacLehose Press
  • MacLehose Press

A Journey to Nowhere: Among the Lands and History of Courland

Jean-Paul Kauffmann

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Former Soviet Union, USSR (Europe), Latvia, Baltic Sea, Prose: non-fiction, European history, Travel writing

A remarkable combination of memoir, history and travel.

Courland is an entity that no longer exists. With the Gulf of Riga to the north, the Baltic to the west and Lithuania at its southern border, and now part of modern Latvia, the region was occupied by Nazi Germany and returned to Soviet Russia after the war, remaining largely inaccessible until 1991.

It is now a nowhere land of wide skies and forests, deserted beaches, ruined castles and ex-KGB prisons. For years Jean-Paul Kauffmann has been irresistibly drawn to this buffer between the Germanic and Slav worlds. His digressive travels at the wheel of a Skoda become an investigation into the whereabouts of a former lover, a search for an excavator of tombs, and a journey in the footsteps of Louis XVIII, for whom Courland was once a place of exile.

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Jean-Paul Kauffmann

Jean-Paul Kauffmann is the author of The Dark Room at Longwood (1999), an exploration of Napoleon's exile on St Helena, Desolation Island (2001) and Wrestling with the Angel (2003). He was a journalist until 1985, when he was kidnapped in Beirut and only released three years later. Since then he has been editor of both Amateur de Bordeaux and Amateur de Cigare magazines.

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