The South American Diaries

October 30, 2020
The South American Diaries

While writing a novel set in South America, John Hopkinstravelled back there to "reacquaint himself with the scene". In1972-3, he travelled by train, bus and boat from Mexico City to thecentre of the continent, through Belize, Guatemala and Nicaraguaand on to Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina. Hopkinstravelled slowly, deliberately, savouring every experience alongthe way. But the journey was fraught with his angst-riddenstrivings to write his novel and with the troubled love he had forMadeleine, his travelling companion. In these heat-scorched,tequila-infused pages, Hopkins paints a sultry, exquisite portraitof South America and in so doing masters an art that he believedwould forever elude him.