Helena Drysdale


Looking for George

Love and Death in Romania, published by Sinclair Stevenson 1995, and in paperback by Picador 1996 with a foreword by Tobias Wolff

Shortlisted for the Esquire/Waterstone's/Apple Non-Fiction Award 1995, and the PEN/JR Ackerley Award for Autobiography 1995

Looking For George

'So many travel books seem forced or contrived, but Looking for George is neither. More mystery than travelogue it is compelling reading - one of those classic "unputdownables".'
Lucy Gillmore, The Independent 'Books that inspired me'.

'Drysdale's search through fetid hospitals and silent cities is imbued with a disquieting beauty. Not only a travel book, but a journey through humanity, from the reaches of state cruelty to the generosity and genius of the individual.'
The Times

'Drysdale's quest has resulted in a brooding work of undeniable passion.'
The Independent

 'An unusual travel book, so intense, personal and ultimately moving that one becomes deeply involved in the author's search for her long-lost friend.'
Independent on Sunday

 'A brilliant travel book.'
Colm Toibin, Irish Times

'There are scenes here that chill the blood, and others that make one weep for the poor victims of what amounts to a national delusion.'
Paul Bailey, Daily Telegraph

'In this profoundly harrowing book, there is a sense that Drysdale has done some good, has rescued a consoling patch of truth.'
James Laurenson, Observer

'Her story is one of the more remarkable to emerge from the benighted country that is Romania and she does full justice to her subject in its telling.'
Marcus Warren, Sunday Telegraph

'Looking for George is a beautiful book and the writing is lyrical and modest. Drysdale has a poet's eye for detail.'
Edward Marriott, Evening Standard

 'An intriguing and unusual book, shot through with poignant memories: at once a detective story, travelogue, portrait of post-Communist Romania and tribute to a remarkable young man. Helena Drysdale is someone who travels thoughtfully, not just with an open mind but with an active conscience too.'
Isobel Wolff, Independent on Sunday

 'A fascinating cultural portrait.'
Daily Express

'Beautifully written and bristling with dramatic tension, this is one of those rare books that, having started, you really can't put down.'
Carolyn Hart, Marie Claire

'Poignant, touching, often sad and ultimately tragic, this is both a quest and a love story.'
The Good Book Guide

'In many ways this is the most remarkable book I have read for years, both for its human interest and for the light it throws on a country that has been abused in a way that makes one's blood run cold.'
John Jolliffe, Country Life

'Looking for George is about looking for several things. As a record of a holiday romance, it's about looking for love; as a travel book it's about looking for "the real Romania"; as a piece of detective work into the disappearance of a young man, and at its most fascinating, it's about looking for answers.'
Sabine Durrant, Sunday Times

'Helena Drysdale is a first class travel writer. Here she attempts to walk the trapeze wire between travelogue and personal adventure. The attempt is heroic. I trembled for her success. Is this Heloise and Abelard? Is this Dracula? Is it Ceausescu's police state in action? The book is, in fact, a combination of all three.'
Henrietta Rous, Literary Review

'Drysdale's attempts to find George resemble a mythic quest, a hall of mirros journey into a world akin to hell. yet it is her respect for the country that shines through in this sober elegy for a man who loved freedom without ever having experienced it.' The Observer

© Helena Drysdale 2006
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