Hugh Thomson

Non-fiction writer

Hugh Thomson is a writer who has explored the wilder corners of the planet, from the edges of Peru to the Himalayas, looking for Inca ruins and lost cultures. His books for Weidenfeld & Nicolson include The White Rock: an exploration of the Inca heartland, Nanda Devi and Cochineal Red: travels through ancient Peru. In 2009 he wrote Tequila Oil, a memoir about getting lost in Mexico when he was 18 and, in the words of the Alice Cooper song, ‘didn’t know what he wanted’. It was serialised by BBC Radio 4 as Book of the Week. In 2012, Random House published The Green Road into the Trees: an exploration of England in which Hugh for the first time wrote about his own country — a very personal book in which he takes a journey through his own past as well as along prehistoric trackways and contemporary Britain.

He is also a film-maker and has been nominated for many awards for his documentaries, from his Bafta-nominated series on the history of rock’n’roll, Dancing in the Street,to the Grierson-winning Indian Journeys with William Dalrymple and the BBC’s flagship series Dimbleby’s Russia. His films have often been on writers like Patricia Highsmith and Oscar Wilde.

Hugh wrote and presented Who Found Machu Picchu? for BBC Radio 4 and has been a contributor to numerous BBC programmes. He lives in Kent with his wife and three alpacas.

Hugh Thomson


Oxford Brookes University 2012-14