Books·Canadian

Magdalena

Magdalena: River of Dreams is a book by Wade Davis.

Wade Davis

Travelers often become enchanted with the first country that captures their hearts and gives them license to be free. For Wade Davis, it was Colombia. Now in a masterful new book, the bestselling author tells of his travels on the mighty Magdalena, the river that made possible the nation. Along the way, he finds a people who have overcome years of conflict precisely because of their character, informed by an enduring spirit of place, and a deep love of a land that is home to the greatest ecological and geographical diversity on the planet. Only in Colombia can a traveler wash ashore in a coastal desert, follow waterways through wetlands as wide as the sky, ascend narrow tracks through dense tropical forests, and reach verdant Andean valleys rising to soaring ice-clad summits. This rugged and impossible geography finds its perfect coefficient in the topography of the Colombian spirit: restive, potent, at times placid and calm, in moments explosive and wild.

Both a corridor of commerce and a fountain of culture, the wellspring of Colombian music, literature, poetry and prayer, the Magdalena has served in dark times as the graveyard of the nation. And yet, always, it returns as a river of life. At once an absorbing adventure and an inspiring tale of hope and redemption, Magdalena gives us a rare, kaleidoscopic picture of a nation on the verge of a new period of peace. Braiding together memoir, history, and journalism, Wade Davis tells the story of the country's most magnificent river, and in doing so, tells the epic story of Colombia. (From Knopf Canada)

Magdalena is available in April 2020.

Davis is a writer, photographer and filmmaker whose work has taken him to the Amazon, Tibet, Polynesia, the Arctic and beyond. He has written several books including Into the Silence and One River. He was the CBC Massey Lecturer in 2009, giving a talk called The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World.

Interviews with Wade Davis

In the early 1920s, George Herbert Leigh Mallory led a small army of 25 men on three attempts to scale Everest. At the time, England was desperately seeking solace from the abysmal carnage of the First World War. Reaching the roof of the world presented the perfect remedy. Wade Davis tells the story in his 2011 Book "Into the Silence". 27:29
In our age, many societies look like they're hurtling towards disorder and disunity. For all of our technological sophistication, the centre isn't holding, great civilisations seem less united than ever. Wade Davis thinks we need to pay more attention to the values, the voices, and the concerns of Indigenous peoples. We have a lot to learn by listening more carefully. Wade Davis in a discussion with Paul Kennedy, with excerpts from a lecture at the Ontario Heritage Trust. 53:58
Anthropologist looks forward to teaching undergraduate students 3:05

Other books by Wade Davis

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