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When Tim Ecott's family uprooted from Northern Ireland in 1977, they thought they were leaving behind their troubled lives, including the physical threat to Tim's father's life posed by the IRA.
They hoped to exchange a hum-drum suburban existence of mortgage debts and small-town society for sunshine and servants in an ex-pat African setting. But, just six months after arriving in Johannesburg they were bankrupt, evicted from their home, and had most of their possessions confiscated by the bailiffs.
Whilst friends and relatives in Britain imagined that they were living privileged lives, Tim Ecott and his family often went hungry. Forced to survive on their wits, the family entered a twilight world where their true friends were prostitutes, thieves and renegades. Stealing Water is about family, and what holds them together; it is the story of how the worst of times can become the most important and valuable period of a person's life.
About the Author
Tim Ecott is a journalist and a writer. Initially specialising in Africa for the BBC World Service, he now writes for a wide range of publications including The Economist", The Guardian" and Conde Nast Traveller". He was the script-writer for the much-acclaimed film, Deep Blue", and has written two books: Neutral Buoyancy is a best-selling exploration into the underwater world, and Vanilla is the history of the bean that changed the culinary face of the world.
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'The greatest memoir to come out of white Africa since Rian Malan's My Traitor's Heart - it reads like Angela's Ashes rewritten by Nick Hornby under a baking Johannesburg sun . . . told with warmth, humanity and humour to burn.' [Tony Parsons] 'An extraordinary account of childhood in a baroque South Africa, peopled with a vast, positively Dickensian collection of people - never sentimental, extremely honest and, I found, quite unputdownable.' [Emma Thompson] 'A truthful story brilliantly told - both funny and moving. I often had to lay the book aside to recover from laughter . . . Tim Ecott cleverly captures the feeling of an extraordinary life.' [Lynne Reid Banks] 'Tim Ecott's story of growing up in Ireland and Africa is both haunting and funny. He writes with compassion and honesty to give us a truly memorable account of an extraordinary upbringing.' [Fergal Keane] 'Stealing Water is a simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking portrait of poor-white family life in the twilight of apartheid.' [Richard E. Grant]
Published: 1st April 2008
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.5 x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.42