Monday, April 10, 2006

Magical Mystery Tour Begins Today

The first sign we were approaching the ruins of Isin in southern Iraq was the motorcycles that came buzzing down the dirt road in the opposite direction. Each one carried a driver, a passenger, and a bulging saddlebag draped over the back fender. A few bicycles came along, each with a rider, his head wrapped in a scarf, and more saddlebags. Then a big cattle truck trundled by, carrying a pack of men in the flatbed in soiled white robes and holding more bulging sacks that swayed as the truck bumped along. . .

That's from the opening of a heartbreaking essay by Roger Atwood, appearing in this month's Lost magazine. It's actually an excerpt from his book, Stealing History: Tomb Raiders, Smugglers, and the Looting of the Ancient World (St. Martin's Press).

Speaking of books, I'm going to be busier than usual over the next few days, touring Waiting for the Macaws. I was chatting it up on CBC's Quirks and Quarks on Saturday, which you can listen to here, and tonight I'm giving a lecture in Vancouver as part of Simon Fraser University's "Speaking of Science" series. Guess I'd better figure out what I'm going to say. . .

I'll be giving a reading tomorrow night (Tuesday, April 11, 7 p.m.) at Bolen's Books in Victoria, which is in the Hillside Mall.

On Wednesday, April 12, from 11 to 11:30, I'll be on the Bill Good Show, on CKNW. I'm also taping a CBC Almanac segment with British Columbia's beloved Mark Forsythe, but I don't know when that's airing. Ditto for an Omni Television's "The Standard".

I'll be live on Fanny Kiefer's TV show Thursday morning, between 9 and 10.

Thursday evening is the official launch party for the book, at the Ironworks, in Vancouver (235 Alexander Street) on Thursday, April 13, at 7 p.m.

I'll be reading at the Ottawa Writers Festival on Sunday, April 22, with comrades Wayne Grady and Elizabeth May, and I've got a variety of interviews and events in Toronto the week of April 24 (which I'll try to post here if I get the bloody time), then it's off to New York.

I haven't known peace and quiet for so long I can't remember what it's like.

- Robert Zimmerman

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