I was sad to read the other day of the death last month of the author of one my Books of 2013. So good was The Robber of Memories – A River Journey Through Colombia that it was listed for the Dolman Travel Book of the Year Awards, and indeed I thought Michael Jacobs might just take the honours. Sadly Michael won’t get another chance, finally succumbing to cancer.
In recent years I’ve read Jacobs’ work on his travels in South America, enjoying them greatly. I’ve just ordered a copy of his earlier work on life in Andalucía, which was where I first heard his name. The signature on it an added bonus.
For as a neighbour and great friend of Chris Stewart it was Michael Jacobs who was Stewart’s foil in his series of books on life and more in the hills of southern Spain, the source, if not butt, of much of the wry humour..
Having heard of his passing I found an obituary from a couple of weeks ago:
I hadn’t been looking for news of the author, but had dipped into the blog of another writer, Robin Bayley, where the news of his friend’s death was the latest article. Bayley has also written of travels in Central America, the wonderful tale of The Mango Orchard, covering genealogy, travels and evidence of gifted writing. I did get to meet Robin the year his book was published and had been idly wondering if he’d been writing again.
Bayley had been giving a talk at the Travellers’ Tales Festival a few years ago. It’s an event I’m hoping may be repeated this year, and just the sort of gathering that Michael Jacobs might have been invited to grace, and enjoy, wisdom to impart.
But another writer pens his last words, taken far too young, in the prime of his writing life, stories untold. I’ll keep an eye out for any posthumous biography or other works that had been in draft. But it’s sad news indeed. 61. No age at all.