A Diamond in the Desert: Behind the Scenes in Abu Dhabi, the World's Richest City


Product Details

$14.95  $13.90
Grove Press, Black Cat
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.25 X 0.8 inches | 0.59 pounds

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"Tatchell excavates the region's gritty history from the perspective of a foreigner who goes back to study its glimmering present and ambitious future...[displays] an impressive breadth of research into the region's centuries-old tribal lineage, rocky political evolution and steep recent economic trajectory as a destination for opulent tourism and high culture...a commendable survey of Abu Dhabi's origins, intricacies, achievements and vision."--Kirkus

"[A] revealing travelogue...A teeming, sharply etched portrait...Tatchell's keen powers of observation and personal connections enable her to convey the hidden reality of this mirage-like city."--Publishers Weekly

"Tatchell weaves a bit of danger in this part-memoir, part-travelogue, part-cultural study. . .an alluring read. If you're curious about Middle Eastern culture or if you want an inside peek at an oil-rich economy, you'll want this book."--Terri Schlichenmeyer, Bluffton Today (S.C.)

"A Diamond in the Desert is a welcome addition to the short list of books on Abu Dhabi...[tells] the fascinating story of how Abu Dhabi reached the current crossroad. Engagingly written and sympathetic to [its] subjects."--Eugene Rogan, The Guardian

"This is a place we need to know more about, and Tatchell here provides a small, well-informed and flavorsome guide to an El Dorado of the dunes...hers is the best thing I've read on the Gulf Coast boom to date. Part history, part reporting, part autobiography, it leaves you feeling you have come to grips with the realities of a land steeped in fable. The contradictions of its Islamic culture emerge starkly...vivid yet balanced."--George Walden, Bloomberg News

"Offers acute insights on the identity crisis gripping the Emiratis...Tatchell pieces together Abu Dhabi's rotten underbelly from a kaleidoscope of disquieting impressions."--Rachel Aspden, The Telegraph

"Tatchell explores the different faces of this shimmering prism of a city through the man different eyes of its inhabitants. She is unsentimental and writes very well, with a keen journalistic eye for detail and drama. She brings alive the weird collision of the disparate worlds of sheikhs, expats and Indian immigrants with stories of decadence and depravity. This is an unusually engaging book that makes a compelling read."--Clover Stroud, The Sunday Telegraph

"Part history, part autobiography and part travel book, A Diamond in the Desert assesses modern Abu Dhabi through the eyes of both locals and foreigners. Tatchell retains an overflowing fondness for the country of her childhood and tries as best she can to recount even some of the less palatable elements of society in a non-judgmental way."--Nathalie Thomas, The Scotsman