Tajikistan: travel books to read before you go

This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Central Asia guide provides a selection of travel literature to get you in the mood for your trip.

The weighty Odyssey Guide to Tajikistan (2007), by Robert Middleton and Huw Thomas, is a literate and detailed background guide to Tajikistan, particularly strong on the history of exploration in the Pamirs.

Travel through Tajikistan (2006), by Fozilov Nurullo, is a locally produced guidebook with some useful background information on Tajikistan. It’s only available in Dushanbe.

For something more old school, George Curzon’s The Pamirs and the Source of the Oxus is a classic text delivered to the Royal Geographical Society in 1896 and recently reprinted in paperback. It’s full of lovely detail on the Pamir region.

Also republished is TE Gordon’s 1876 The Roof of the World and John Wood’s 1872 A Journey to the Source of the River Oxus.

Land beyond the River: The Untold Story of Central Asia (2003), by Monica Whitlock, pieces together the history of Soviet Central Asia through the lives of half a dozen witnesses, and with a strong focus on modern Tajikistan. Whitlock was formerly the BBC’s Central Asia correspondent.

More travel literature reading lists for other destinations can be found here.