Author(s): Piers Moore Ede
'I will never forget my first sight of the river in Varanasi, from the narrowness and constriction of the alleys, thronged with activity, to the sudden release of the waterfront, the labyrinth's end ...It seems that all of life has its assigned place on the stone steps leading down to the Ganges. Some are used for bathing, others for laundry, washing buffalo, puja (worship, ceremonial offering), and this one for the business of death. The smells are of wood smoke, buffalo dung, urine and jasmine flowers. The sounds are of rustling kites and lowing cattle, crackling wood and prayer...' Piers Moore Ede first fell in love with Varanasi when he passed through it on his way to Nepal in search of wild honey hunters. In the decade that followed it continued to exert its pull on him, and so he returned to live there, to press his ear to its heartbeat and to discover what it is that makes the spiritual capital of India so unique.
In this intoxicating 'city of 10,000 widows', where funeral pyres smoulder beside the river in which thousands of pilgrims bathe, and holiness and corruption walk side by side, Piers encounters sweet-makers and sadhus, mischievous boatmen and weary bureaucrats, silk weavers and musicians and discovers a remarkable interplay between death and life, light and dark.
From the acclaimed, prize-winning author of Honey and Dust: a captivating memoir of a year spent in the holy city of Varanasi
An extraordinary handbook on the art of escapism . unusual, compelling and restorative Alexander Waugh, Mail on Sunday, on Honey and Dust Beautifully written . a salutary reminder of a way of life that will soon be lost Daily Mail on Honey and Dust He is acutely sensitive to landscape, light, people and mood Guardian on Honey and Dust
Piers Moore Ede has contributed to many literary, travel and environmental publications, including the Daily Telegraph, the Times Literary Supplement, Ecologist, Traveller and Earth Island Journal. He is the author of Honey and Dust, winner of a D. H. Lawrence Prize for Travel Writing, and All Kinds of Magic. He lives in East Sussex with his wife and daughter. piersmooreede.blogspot.co.uk