The South American Diaries by John Hopkins
While writing a novel set in South America, John Hopkins travelled back there to reacquaint himself with the scene. In 1972-3, he travelled by train, bus and boat from Mexico City to the centre of the continent, through Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua and on to Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina. Hopkins travelled slowly, deliberately, savouring every experience along the way. But the journey was fraught with his angst-ridden strivings to write his novel and with the troubled love he had for Madeleine, his travelling companion. In these heat-scorched, tequila-infused pages, Hopkins paints a sultry, exquisite portrait of South America and in so doing masters an art that he believed would forever elude him.