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Tangier: City of the Dream

Sunday 29 March 2015

1 Hour


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Author and journalist Iain Finlayson recalls the golden years of Tangier as described in his definitive portrait of the city, Tangier: City of the Dream. The book, written more than 20 years ago and recently republished in paperback, is still recommended by all the travel guides for its evocation of Tangier from the 17th century to the modern day. The golden years of Tangier came after World War I and lasted through World War II and into the arrival of the post-war beat generation. Among those who arrived in Tangier seeking sanctuary or inspiration were William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Ronnie Kray, Tennessee Williams, Joe Orton, Kenneth Halliwell, Cecil Beaton, Ned Roren and Truman Capote.

Finlayson captures the romance, seediness and madness of this exotic city in which he spent a lot of time, meeting characters such as Burroughs, who praised the book.

Finlayson has written biographies of James Boswell and Robert Browning and books about Romney Marsh, the Scots and denim. He is books editor of Saga Magazine and reviews for The Times. He is currently working on a book about writers and the English landscape.