Mortimer of the Maghreb: Stories (Paperback)


By Henry Shukman

Vintage Books, 9781400078516, 460pp.

Publication Date: May 8, 2007



In this psychologically complex and darkly humorous debut collection, awardwinning writer Henry Shukman introduces an unforgettable cast of characters, travelers whose certain paths around the world lead invariably back to the uncertain self.

In “The Garden of God” an aging, ailing war reporter reflects on his adventures covering a little-known conflict in the Sahara and the precipitous and disgraced end of his career; In “Old Providence,” a dissolute artist mourns a lost love and the “bloody perfect island” where, through his own callow foolishness, he lost her. In “Darien Dogs” a man goes south to Panama, desperate for a business deal that will restore his finances and sense of mastery, only to find himself on a confounding search for a beautiful, mysterious woman and his stolen wallet. By turns full of suspense, farce and poignance, always alive with energy and atmosphere, these are the stories of a gifted and assured writer.

About the Author

Henry Shukman has worked as a trombonist, a trawlerman and a travel writer. His fiction has won an Arts Council Award and has been a finalist for the O. Henry Award. His first poetry collection, "In Dr. No's Garden," won the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and was a Book of the Year in "The Times" (London) and "The Guardian." He lives in New Mexico.

Praise For Mortimer of the Maghreb: Stories

“Immensely entertaining.”—The New York Times Book Review“Fearless, brilliantly realized. . . . Henry Shukman is a gifted writer.” —The Los Angeles Times“A comic gem. . . . The tropical setting, simultaneously gorgeous and debilitating, is expertly evoked.”—The Independent“Shukman’s writing is what marks him out. He’s superb, like Conrad on speed.” —Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland