The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Book Club - Eating the Flowers of Paradise

Kevin Rushby

Tuesday 8th August 2017

7:30pm, National Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX - all welcome


The Society's book club will discuss Eating the Flowers of Paradise by Kevin Rushby.

Drawn back to the Yemen by idyllic memories of ancient cities, spectacular mountains and most of all, the dreamy afternoons spent chewing the stimulant leaf of the qat tree, Kevin Rushby set out to travel the old trade route from the highlands of Ethiopia to Yemen.

The journey is at times dangerous, often comic; and by accepting the invitation to take qat at every opportunity, the author encounters a wonderful array of characters - criminals, Islamic scholars, an exorcist and the mysterious Cedric, the travelling companion from hell who offers to help Rushby find a dhow across the Red Sea.

This is the story of a journey, but it also unveils the rich and varied culture surrounding the drug, qat. Experts variously claim it to be as mild as tea or as addictive as cocaine; in the Horn of Africa it is central to the life of many people and Rushby explores attitudes towards substance abuse and addiction.

Now out of print, but still easily obtainable second-hand, Eating the Flowers of Paradise was originally published by Constable in 1998 (ISBN 9780094769601) and subsequently republished several times in different hardback and paperback editions, the latest paperback version being published by Robinson in 2003 (ISBN 9781841196794).

We will meet in The Long Bar on the ground floor of the National Theatre.

If you would like to attend, or want further information, please email the Book Club.




Eating the Flowers of Paradise by Kevin Rushby.
Publisher: London, Robinson, 2003.
Paperback: ISBN:9781841196794
Price: £7.99

First Published in News File Spring 2017

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