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Gavin Young (Gavin David Young) Biography

(1928–2001), (Gavin David Young), Return to the Marshes, Iraq: Land of Two Rivers, Observer

iraq conrad south period

British travel writer, brought up in Cornwall and South Wales, educated at Rugby and Trinity College, Oxford. After a period of National Service in Palestine, he worked for a shipping company in Basra, Iraq; in 1952 he travelled with Wilfred Thesiger to the marshlands of southern Iraq, where he remained for two years, a period reflected in Return to the Marshes (1977) and Iraq: Land of Two Rivers (1980), a work acclaimed for its historical and cultural scope. Following a further two years working with a locust control unit in South Western Arabia, from 1959 to 1990 he travelled widely as a correspondent with the Observer, frequently reporting from areas of conflict; Worlds Apart (1989) is a collection of his articles. Slow Boats to China (1981), an account of his adventurously casual voyage around the world in 1980, established his reputation with a wide readership; a sequel entitled Slow Boats Home appeared in 1985. His other works include Beyond Lion Rock (1988), which traces the development of Cathay Pacific Airways from its unpromising beginnings in 1946. Joseph Conrad's voyages in the Far East form the basis of Young's itinerary in In Search of Conrad (1991), a work which combines his descriptive and narrative skills as a travel writer with valuable interpretations of the importance of various locations to Conrad's fiction. From Sea to Shining Sea (1995) recounts his travels in America.

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