“Being english, I have less capacity for reverence”

Geoff Dyer is an eclectic writer. When asked about his relationship with David Foster Wallace or John Berger, he talks about tennis. And when asked about tennis his reply centers on his thoughts about publishers and Tchaikovsky. That´s also what his book White Sands is: a blend of fiction and non-fiction about his travels, the arts and being in constant awe of planet Earth. He starts off his journeys with huge ambitions: “I didn´t just want to visit Tahiti, he said during his talk with peruvian writer and journalist Jerónimo Pimentel, I wanted to step into a Gaugin painting”. 

For Dyer, the biggest issue with current non-fiction is that most books could have been written by anyone. When it comes to travel writers, he sees people are often disappointed by the places they visit. Not him. He keeps his senses open to all the wonders of the world, but he admits he often needs something unfortunate to happen for him to write, like picking up a hitchhiker that could be an escaped prisoner in a mexican desert, or nearly freezing in the arctic circle. Not exactly what he´s feeling in “pretty and lovely Cartagena”.