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AFRICA

CALL OF THE DESERT:
The Sahara

Author/photographer: Philippe Bourseiller

Sprawling over 3.5 million square miles, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, the Sahara is a mythical land, enchanting not only for its extreme beauty but also for its complex culture. Wrapping its arid terrain around Africa, this vast desert is shared, and sometimes fought over, by some dozen countries.

Enraptured by the desert's magical light and amazingly diverse terrain--its spectacular dunes, stone fortresses, and Edenic oases-- Bourseiller embarked on the first truly comprehensive photographic exploration of this enormous territory. Here, in 200 images ranging from the white sands of Arguin (Mauritania) to the colorful banks of the Niger river (Mali), from the rock paintings of Tassili n'Ajjer (Algeria) to the lakes of Ennedi (Chad), Bourseiller communicates his powerful experience of the desert. A series of texts by Sahara specialists deepens our understanding of the history, people, and landscape of this fascinating area. This is an invitation to travel the Sahara and to experience the desert, its life and its mysteries.

From Publishers Weekly
Award-winning photojournalist Bourseiller, who spent four years documenting the Sahara Desert, collects the best of his photographs in this huge coffee-table book. Besides the expected shots of sand, sand and more sand—which are gorgeous in scope and detail despite their ubiquity—there are a surprising number featuring sparkling water and lush marshes. The book's fold-out map reveals that the Sahara is dotted with oases and springs and borders oceans, rivers and lakes. Still, water is a precious commodity in the desert, and Bourseiller reveals both its value and its scarcity in the lives of the desert's human inhabitants. Images of fish traps, sailboats, rice paddies and lapping waves contrast sharply with rocky outcroppings, dune seas, camels and veiled nomads. The photographs, organized into chapters with short introductions written by six of Bourseiller's scientist, geographer and journalist peers, usually spill across two vivid, glossy pages. While Westerners may think of the Sahara as the archetypal desert, an untracked wasteland of sand, Bourseiller shows it both as an unforgiving environment and as a beautiful place that stretches across four million square miles and 10 countries and encompasses ancient fortresses, hardy plants, thriving fishing villages, green farm fields and endless starry skies.
© Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
$50.00 (hardcover)
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