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Show Me The Place

Hedley Twidle

From award-winning non-fiction writer Hedley Twidle comes Show Me the Place, an essay collection searching through history, memory and literature to find glimmers of utopia. The collection is a book of elsewheres; in it, the author charts a journey to find other liveable places and spaces in a troubled world.

Whether embarking on a bizarre quest to find Cecil Rhodes’s missing nose (sliced off the bust of the Rhodes Memorial) or bike-packing the Scottish islands with a couple of squabbling anarchists; whether learning to surf (much too late) in the wild, freezing waters off the Cape Peninsula or navigating the fraught politics of a Buddhist retreat centre – the author explores forgotten utopias, intentional communities and islands of imagination with curiosity, hope and humour.

Threaded through the pieces in this collection are questions of friendship and human community, of environmental destruction and repair, of landscape and memory. Ranging from the science fiction of Ursula Le Guin to George Orwell’s vision of the good life, from Mohandas Gandhi’s South African ashrams to the ‘living laboratory’ of Auroville in south India, Show Me the Place investigates the deep human desire to imagine social and environmental alternatives to what we take as normal or inevitable.


Hedley Twidle is a writer, teacher and researcher based at UCT. His essay collection Firepool: Experiences in an Abnormal World, was published by Kwela in 2017. Experiments with Truth, a study of life writing and the South African transition, appeared in the African Articulation series from James Currey in 2019. His work has appeared in international publications such as the New Statesman, the Financial Times and Harper’s magazine.


Category:  Literary Essays
ISBN:  9781776193202
Publisher:  Jonathan Ball Publishers
On sale:  March 2024
Format:  Trade Paperback
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