“Outward looking, cerebral, invested in the world around her…encompassing travel, love, illness, loss, death, grief and ways of dealing with the aftermath, Anderson’s memoir is a bracing tour-de-force.” Agnes Nieuwenhuizen, The Australian
“This is her first book and it’s really well written – be it on love, death or landscape – and she has an eye for details.” Steven Carroll, The Sydney Morning Herald
“Catherine has a way with words, whether it’s bringing her travels and the places she and Angus visit to life or underlining the huge emotional shock of his death.” Tony Wheeler Lonely Planet founder
Catherine’s first book, The End of All Our Exploring, is a memoir and an unconventional love story set against some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes. From the snow peaks of the north India to Burma’s golden temples via the ochre plains of the Australian outback, this is unparalleled travel writing and a searing dissection of a deadly illness.
When two restless souls – inveterate travellers, at home everywhere and nowhere – encounter each other in a colourful hill town in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, it is an inauspicious first meeting. Catherine Anderson finds the photojournalist Angus McDonald rude, mistaking his shyness for arrogance; he thinks she is idealistic and naive, unlikely to remain past the next monsoon. Against the odds, they forge a tentative friendship.
Years later, their lives converge once more in unexpected circumstances. Though he is in Melbourne and she in London, each feels a profound certainty that they have been intended to collide. Soon afterwards, in a Thai fishing village on the Andaman coast, she accepts his proposal of marriage. But their hopes and dreams soon evaporate when Angus falls suddenly and seriously ill. Above all, The End of All Our Exploring is a young woman’s elegy for the one she loves, a meditation on grief, and a courageous attempt at acceptance and understanding.
India’s Disappearing Railways is a vibrant photo-essay by Australian photographer Angus McDonald, capturing for the first time in print the sub-continent’s unique narrow-gauge railways in all their vivid colour, character and chaos. Published posthumously and edited by his widow Catherine Anderson, it was chosen as a Times ‘Book of The Year’ (2014) and is an intimate and humorous portrait of life on the trains, evoking the very soul of India. With a rare empathy and insight this stunning photo-essay illustrates the lives of those who ride India’s railways, who work on them, and who live alongside them. Yet as the nation modernises these railways – whether in the snow-peaked Himalaya, the terai of Rajasthan or the verdant Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu – are vanishing. India’s Disappearing Railways records a way of life that is slowly disappearing and documents the diversity of this vast and multi-layered country from a unique standpoint.
All author proceeds from the sale of the book go to The Angus McDonald Trust