High Caucasus with Tom Parfitt - Ticket-Only Option
Wednesday 27th September 2023 at 6.30pm.
This event will take place at St Vincent's Chapel on St Vincent Street EH3 6SW (very close to our shop).
Please join us to hear Tom Parfitt in conversation with Caroline Eden about his forthcoming book High Caucasus.
About High Caucasus
A breath-taking memoir of Tom Parfitt's remarkable 1,000 mile walk through Russia's Caucasus region in search of solace and understanding after witnessing the Beslan school siege. On 1 September 2004, Chechen and Ingush militants took more than a thousand people captive at a school in the Caucasus region of southern Russia.
Working as a correspondent, Tom Parfitt witnessed the bloody climax in which 314 hostages died, more than half of them children. The experience left Tom emotionally shredded, struggling to find a way to return to his life in Moscow and put to rest the ghosts of the Beslan siege. Having long been fascinated by the mountainous North Caucasus, Tom turned to his love of walking as a source of both recuperation and discovery.
In High Caucasus, he shares his remarkable thousand-mile quest in search of personal peace - and a greater understanding of the roots of violence in a region whose fate has tragic parallels with the Ukraine of today. Starting his journey in Sochi on the Black Sea and walking the mountain ranges to Derbent, the ancient fortress city on the Caspian, Tom traverses the political, religious and ethnic fault-lines of seven Russian republics, including Chechnya and Dagestan. Through bear-haunted forests, across high altitude pastures and over the shoulders of Elbrus, Europe's highest mountain, he finds companionship and respite in the homes of proud, little-known peoples.
Walking exerts a restorative power; it also provides a unique, ground-level view of a troubled yet exquisite corner of the world. High Caucasus is a stunning memoir of confronting trauma through connection with history, people and place.
About Tom Parfitt
Tom Parfitt grew up in Norfolk and studied politics and Russian at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies in London. He worked for twenty years as a correspondent in Moscow for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and The Times. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.