This, the first podcast on The Phraser, is an interview with Arthur Knaggs, author of Chasing Laces. The book, written in 2019, is in the words of the runners he interviewed last year, before COVID-19 reached the UK.
It is late November 2017, and I am with Barnaby Rogerson, author and expert on North Africa, whose latest book, In Search of Ancient North Africa – A History in Six Lives, has just been published.
This is the second part of our interview and the focus is on travel writing in general and on Eland, the publishing house where he is a director.
We are in the Eland hub – books are everywhere.
The day is sunny, the bus ride easy, and the grey door is exactly where it should be. There are no signs … just a button to press, and then a set of narrow grey stairs to follow in a spiral to the top.
I climb the smooth steps and at the top a door is open. Just inside a tall, elegant, eager dog waits to say hello. Beside the dog is a slightly less-leggy man. He is, as I presume, Barnaby Rogerson, author of In Search of Ancient North Africa – a History in Six Lives, and one of the directors of Eland Publishing.
Behind them both is a book-filled den.
The trouble with being the king of a niche is that however impeccable your talents your kingdom may not be big enough for those outside the niche to notice your crown … which, if the king is a modest man, leaves the rest of us none the wiser … as it were.
I met such a king recently and it took two years to discover who he was.
“I don’t see how an American can ask me if Naples is safe!”
Bonnie Alberts is an American, a well-travelled American, who has lived in Naples, Italy for a decade.
“I don’t understand the reputation – it’s a breathing, working city.”