Timbuktu: Africa’s Fabled City of Gold, (co-authored by Sheila Hirtle) was published by Walker and Co in New York in August 2007, and a month later by McClelland and Stewart in Canada. We wrote this book mostly because we had used Timbuktu as one of our bases when researching an earlier book on the Sahara itself (Timbuktu and that other venerable Saharan metropolis, Agadez in Niger). It was clear at the time that Timbuktu, with its rich and elusive history and its now-faded presence, merited longer treatment. George Gibson, the publisher at Walker Books, agreed.

The notices, again, were positive. Here are a few: The Montreal Gazette said the book offered ?“ … fascinating glimpses into one of the world’s most famed, yet least-known cities.” Stephen Clare in The Daily News offered a similar judgment: “Timbuktu is a fascinating and intimate look at the African city’s spectacular past and its daunting present,” while Roger Miller in the St. Louis Post Dispatch said it was “… written in an appealing, casual style …”, and then went on to assert one of the main points we had made in the book, on the tolerant and all-inclusive nature of the city’s long Islamic tradition: “In a time of supposed monolithic Islam, Timbuktu still has a lesson to teach.”