Kidnapped at sea by conquistadors seeking the golden land of Peru, Waman is the everyman thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Forced to become Francisco Pizarro’s translator, he finds himself caught up in one of history’s great clashes of civilizations, the Spanish overthrow of the Inca Empire in the 1530s. To survive this ordeal he must not only learn to play a many-sided game but also decide who he truly is. Only then can he begin the search for his shattered family.
Based closely on real events, this is a grand, propulsive adventure of greed, blood, and betrayal. Drawing on Wright’s imaginative skill as a novelist and deep knowledge of South America, The Gold Eaters brings alive an epic struggle.
Searching the Pacific for her father, an airman missing since the Korean War, Olivia lands in a Tahitian jail on a trumped-up murder charge. Piecing together her troubled past and her family’s buried history, she unearths the story of her ancestor Frank Henderson, who came to these waters a century before on a three-year voyage with Queen Victoria’s grandsons—Prince George (later George V) and his elder brother, Prince Eddy, who would die young and disgraced. A moving story of family and state secrets, Henderson’s Spear explores the forces of history and the accidents of love.
David Lambert, jilted lover and museum curator, discovers the startling news that H. G. Wells’s time machine is about to return to London. Motivated by a host of unanswered questions, Lambert propels himself deep into the new millennium. As he sets foot in the luxuriant but menacing new landscape, he soon begins to explore the ruins of his life, a labyrinth of erotic obsession and remorse involving his old friend Bird, and Anita—the beautiful, eccentric Egyptologist they both loved.
Personal and universal, witty and elegiac, this prize-winning novel of conscience and civilization builds to an unforgettable indictment of human arrogance in the tradition of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and the great ‘scientific romances’ of H.G. Wells.
Now released in a new Fifteenth Anniversary Edition with an update by the author, Ronald Wright’s prescient analysis of the “progress trap” (a term he coined) has only become more relevant. The last two centuries were a time of runaway growth in human population, consumption, and technology, placing a colossal load on all natural systems, especially earth, air, and water—the very elements of life. The most urgent questions for the twenty-first century are: Where will this growth lead? What kind of world is our present bequeathing to our future?
In A Short History of Progress —his acclaimed 2004 Massey Lectures, an international bestseller in many languages —Ronald Wright argues that our modern predicament is as old as civilization itself, an experiment we unleashed but have seldom controlled. In his new introduction to this Anniversary Edition Wright outlines our latest developments and asks whether we can still get the future right.
An international bestseller, Stolen Continents is a history of the Americas unlike any other. This fascinating volume chronicles the conquest and survival of five great American cultures—in their own words. Ronald Wright give voice to the Aztec, Maya, Inca, Cherokee, and Iroquois, quoting their authentic speech and writing and illuminating their strange, tragic experience—including, in a new afterward, incidents that bring us into the twenty-first century. Covering the more than five hundred years since Europeans first set foot in the New World, Wright weaves contemporary accounts with his own incisive historical narrative to created an indispensable record, on that is powerful, vivid, and accurate.
The Maya created one of the most dazzling civilizations on Earth, famed for its art, astronomy, and mathematics, and its deep fascination with the mystery of time. Despite collapse in the ninth century, Spanish invasion in the sixteenth, and recent civil wars, seven million people still speak Mayan languages and strive to uphold their resilient culture. Ronald Wright travels through mountains and jungles to explore the ancient roots of the Maya and the outlook for their survival in dangerous times.
Travelling through Peru, tracing the history of the Incas from their royal cities of Cusco and Machu Picchu to their mythic origin in Lake Titicaca, Ronald Wright explores a land of contrasts –between Spanish and Indigenous, past and present, coastal desert and snow-crowned Andes.
Yet Wright is equally interested in the chance encounters of the road. With admiration, humour and a wry anger, he brings to life the complex culture of an ancient land seeking its place in the modern world.
Once feared as the ‘Cannibal Isles,’ Fiji made a remarkable transition—from warring chiefdoms to British colony to an independent nation—in little more than a century. Despite the onslaught of missionaries, slavers, imperialists and planters, the islanders emerged with their indigenous society, language, and lands largely intact.
Meeting people of all walks of life, travelling slowly through bustling towns, quiet villages, remote valleys and jungled mountains, Ronald Wright’s skills as a writer and historian help him understand how this archipelago of vibrant cultures came to endure and thrive despite the pressures of the outside world.
For better and worse, America has Americanized the world. How, in a mere two centuries, did a marginal frontier society become the de facto ruler of the world? Why do America’s great achievements in democracy, prosperity, and civil rights often seem threatened by forces within itself? Ronald Wright shows how this came about; how the United States, which regards itself as the most modern country on earth, is also deeply archaic, a stronghold not only of religious fundamentalism but of “modern” beliefs in endless growth and progress that have fallen under suspicion elsewhere in the west, a rethinking driven by two world wars and the reckless looting of our planet.
A major collection of travel pieces from the bestselling author of Stolen Continents and A Short History of Progress reveals the world to us—from Mexico to the Marquesas, from Egypt to Peru—in all its comedy, strangeness and humanity. Home and Away is a marvellous mix of adventure and observation, ancient cultures, modern politics, and irresistible storytelling.