Colin Thubron will be questioned about In Siberia by James Naughtie and a group of readers in Radio 4’s Bookclub slot next Sunday. The book, which he published in 1999, has one of the greatest opening paragraphs in modern travel writing:
‘The ice-fields are crossed for ever by a man in chains. In the farther distance, perhaps, a herd of reindeer drifts, or a hunter makes a shadow on the snow. But that is all. Siberia: it fills one twelfth of the land-mass of the whole Earth, yet this is all it leaves for certain in the mind. A bleak beauty, and an indelible fear.”
Over the next 280 pages, he fills in the blanks.
The programme will be broadcast at 4pm on Sunday and should be available shortly afterwards on the BBC iPlayer.