Sanmao: author, adventurer, pioneer. Born in China in 1943, she moved from Chongqing to Taiwan, Spain to Germany, the Canary Islands to Central America, and, for several years in the 1970s, to the Sahara.
Leafing through the pages of National Geographic as a young girl growing up in Taiwan, Sanmao became enchanted by the infinite and wonderous landscape of the Sahara. Years later, in 1974, she sets out for the Spanish desert territory of El Aaiún in hopes of becoming the first female explorer to cross the hauntingly beautiful expanse. Her boyfriend José would have to wait, or join her. He packs his things, leaves Madrid, and asks Sanmao to marry him.
Stories of the Sahara invites us into Sanmao's extraordinary life in the desert: her experiences of love and loss, freedom and peril, all told with a voice as spirited as it is timeless. At a period when China was beginning to look beyond its borders, Sanmao fired the imagination of millions and inspired a new generation.
Translated by Mike Fu.
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