FLIGHT OF THE DIAMOND SMUGGLERS, a tale of pigeons, obsession and greed along coastal South Africa

: Frank (M.)

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208pp., paperback, First UK Edition, London, 2021


First published in the USA in 2021.

Matthew Gavin Frank visits the Diamond Coast to investigate the smuggling of diamonds by carrier pigeons, an illicit trade that goes back to the founding of the De Beers corporation, and continues to supply a global market.

"Ghost towns, corporate cruelty, the centuries-old relationship between humans and a species almost magical in its abilities … fabulous." The New York Times

"There is no living essayist better at weaving wildly disparate worlds into a single, gorgeously lyrical whole. Flight of the Diamond Smugglers finds meaning in pigeons, diamonds, murder, love, and lost pregnancies. It is a journey with its own wild logic." Kerry Howley, author of Thrown

"A beautifully written book on diamond smuggling, the universe, life and much of what lies in between ... Throughout it all, this book reminds us that the world is a place of wonder if only we look." Toby Muse, author of Kilo: Life and death inside the secret world of the cocaine cartels

Journalist and author Matthew Gavin Frank is the author of The Mad Feast, Preparing the Ghost, Pot Farm and Barolo. His work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review, Guernica, The New Republic, Iowa Review, Salon, Conjunctions and The Normal School. He teaches creative writing and lives in Marquette, Michigan.