Dancing with the Dead
a journey through
Zanzibar and Madagascar, published by Hamish
Hamilton 1991 (illustrated by Richard Pomeroy)
'She has an exceptionally good eye for fleeting, but
tell-tale details. A brilliant saga.'
Richard Dowden, The Independent
'Drysdale is one of the smartest among a vast shoal
of literary travellers: witty, self-aware, with the
now obligatory keen eye for bizarre third world collisions
between trad and mod ways of life. Good stories, good
writing, good fun.'
'Infuses personal quest theme with historical and
cultural data. Investigates worship of ancestors,
especially cult of exhumation, and finds in class-bound,
retrospective Malagasy society a mirror for her own.
Mark Cocker, Weekend Telegraph
'Absorbing. The extraordinary mix of cultures - Indonesian,
African and European - is skilfully and sympathetically
portrayed. The unfamiliar history of the island is blended
with personal narrative so that the one is illuminated
by the other. There are memorable encounters...deeply
A. M Daniels, TLS
'Beautifully written in lyrical prose that flows
easily by, Dancing with the Dead has warmth, humour
'The story is not just an exploration of the culture
and history of these exotic islands but it is also
an exploration of our relationship with our ancestry.'
Western Morning News