Egypt is as old as history itself. It is home to some of the world's greatest treasures, a pantheon of dazzling gods and kings, and the roots of the civilised world. Today, it is the political and cultural heart of the Arab world and a country of startling contrasts and contradictions. "River in the Desert" is Paul William Roberts' account of his travels through Egypt, delving into the hidden depths of this great country - at once familiar and yet unknown. Setting out to explore every facet of ancient and modern Egypt, Roberts encounters magicians, politicians, monks and archaeologists. In Cairo, he spends a terrifying night alone in the central chamber of the Great Pyramid and is smuggled into the clandestine gathering of a Sufi tariqa. In Nubia, he is carried by boat to the great temple of Isis at Philae and reads Death on the Nilewhilst sleeping in Agatha Christie's bedroom. He embarks on an eventful voyage up the Nile from Aswan to Luxor, experiences star-filled nights and tranquil days with the isolated Ma'aza Bedouin and spends time with the monks of Mount Sinai.
Over the course of several years, Roberts discovers a country that is as rich and enduring as the Nile, carving a fertile swathe through the arid desert.
Paul William Roberts was born in Wales and now lives in Toronto. He is a writer, filmmaker and classical scholar with Ph.Ds from universities in three countries. His books include The Demonic Comedy, Empire of the Soul, Journey of the Magi (also Tauris Parke Paperbacks) and A War Against Truth. Paul William Roberts writes for Harpers, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Times Literary Supplement, Washington Post, New York Times and The Jordan Times. The Montreal Mirror once called him 'a genuine hero of journalism, and one of the few truly wise men on the beat.'