|Born||born 30 October 1962 (age 53)
|Subject||Travel, exploration, adventure, cross-cultural studies|
Robert Twigger (born 30 October 1962) is a British author. He travels widely and divides his time between the UK and Egypt.
Twigger was educated at Balliol College, Oxford University. He first began to study engineering, but after six weeks switched to politics and philosophy. He won the Newdigate Prize for poetry – previous winners include Oscar Wilde and John Ruskin. He also staged a film festival for student films, as well as directing two films himself.
Following university, he worked in the publicity department of a record company and taught English and studied martial arts in Japan for three years. After that he travelled widely in remote places for a number of years.
Twigger has written fiction and non-fiction books, as well as articles for newspapers and magazines such as the Daily Telegraph, "Sunday Times", "Lonely Planet Magazine","Maxim, "Financial Times" and Esquire.
- Angry White Pyjamas: An Oxford Poet Trains with the Tokyo Riot Police (1998), a book recounting Twigger's experiences learning Aikido in Japan, won both the Somerset Maugham Award for literature and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award. It was also voted best sports books of the past 25 years by Waterstone's booksellers in 2007.
- Big Snake: The Hunt for the World's Longest Python (1999) describes Twigger's failed attempt to capture a record-breaking 30-foot snake for a $50,000 prize being offered by a New York zoo.
- The Extinction Club (2001) is an account of Twigger's research into the Milu, a species of deer which was thought to have become extinct.
- Being a Man (in the lousy modern world) (2002) describes Twigger's thoughts and observations on the nature of masculinity and its current state at the beginning of the 21st century.
- Voyageur – Across the Rocky Mountains in a Birchbark Canoe (2006) recounts the story of Twigger's three-year, two thousand-mile journey across North West Canada in the wake of eighteenth-century explorer and fur trader Alexander Mackenzie.
- Lost Oasis: A Desert Adventure: In Search Of Paradise (2007) is a desert adventure modelled on explorers such as Theodore Almasy (the inspiration for The English Patient).
- Real Men Eat Puffer Fish (2008) contains humorous advice for men.
- Dr Ragab's Universal Language (2009) is a novel set in 1920's Cairo and Germany.
- Red Nile: A Biography of the World's Greatest River (2013).
Twigger's failed attempt to capture a record-breaking snake in Indonesia in 1997 was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary, entitled Big Snake along with Twigger's book on the expedition. In the documentary, Twigger is criticised by his translator for employing indigenous people to do the majority of the work whilst omitting to inform many of them about the $50,000 prize he was seeking for himself.
In 2004 Twigger led an expedition that completed a three-season, two-thousand-mile journey across North West Canada in the wake of eighteenth-century explorer and fur trader Alexander Mackenzie. The team were the first to successfully complete this route in a birchbark canoe since 1793. Of all those who took part only Twigger completed the whole route.
In 2005 Twigger and Steve Mann made the first exploration of the Western Desert using a hand hauled wheeled trolley during which they discovered the tracks of László Almásy's baby Ford expedition of the 1930s.
Since 2006 Twigger has made regular desert journeys with the expedition group "The Explorer School". In 2009–2010 he became the first person to walk the entire 700 km of the Egyptian Great Sand Sea, following the route of German explorer Gerhard Rolhfs across the Egyptian Sahara.
- "Learning curve | The Guardian". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- Eisner, Robert (21 July 2002). "Where Prose Cannot Follow – The New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- "Sports Books: An angry white poet floors all his rivals – Sport". The Independent. 26 November 1998. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- "Big Snake – Series 1 – Episode 1 – Big Snake". Channel 4. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
|William Hill Sports Book of the Year winner