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Tim Butcher (born 15 November 1967) is an English journalist, broadcaster and author. He is the author of Blood River and Chasing the Devil, travel books blending contemporary adventure with African history.
In 2007 he published Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart, an account of his 2004 journey through DR Congo overland from Lake Tanganyika and down the Congo River, following the route of Henry Morton Stanley's 1874–77 trans-Africa expedition. The book was published by Chatto & Windus, an imprint of Random House, and reached Number 1 in the Sunday Times bestseller list in March 2008. Translated into six languages, Blood River was the only non-fiction title in the Richard & Judy Book Club 2008 and was shortlisted that year for a number of British writing awards including the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Dolman Best Travel Book Award and the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Best Book award. The book’s Polish version, Rzeka Krwi (Translated by Jakub Czernik and published in 2009 by Carta Blanca) was longlisted for the 2010 Ryszard Kapuściński Prize.
Butcher's second major work, Chasing the Devil: The Search for Africa’s Fighting Spirit, describes a 350 mile trek through Sierra Leone and Liberia following a trail blazed by Graham Greene and recounted in Greene's Journey Without Maps, published in 1936.
In 2009 Butcher wrote a chapter for Because I Am a Girl, a charitable compilation of stories focusing on the plight of young women and girls in the developing world. Published in January 2010 by Vintage, an imprint of Random House, the book was the brainchild of a Plan International, a leading children’s rights aid group. He also contributed a chapter to Ox Travels, another compilation, this time on behalf of Oxfam, the international confederation working against poverty and injustice, which was released in May 2011.
In February 2010 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Northampton in the United Kingdom for service as a journalist and author. He is a regular contributor to the BBC radio programme From Our Own Correspondent and has written for numerous British, US and international publications.
In 2012 Blood River became a text used in AS Level English Language and Literature Combined, alongside Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness.'
- Blood River official website
- Tim Butcher interview on Blood River
- Tim Butcher at The Daily Telegraph
- Solo in the Congo, Review of Blood River by Geoff Wisner, Wall Street Journal (2008)
- Tim Butcher speaks with Fiona Sze-Lorrain/Greta Aart, Interview on Emprise Review, October 2008
- Amanda Ross on Why Blood River Did Well in the Richard & Judy Book Club