Brought up on family stories about the Bushmen of Kalahari, Rupert Isaacson journeys to this dry vast grassland - which stretches across South Africa, Botswana and Namibia - to find out the truth behind these childhood myths.
Deep in the arid heartland, Isaacson meets the last groups of Bushmen still living the traditional way, caught between their ancient culture and the growing need to protect and reclaim their dwindling hunting grounds. Little by little he is drawn into the fascinating web of ritual and prophecy that make up the Bushman reality, until at last he is sent in search of Besa, a powerful healer and shape-shifter. What follows is an adventure of an intensity he could never have predicted.
Part travel writing, part history of the Bushmen, part personal quest, 'The Healing Land: A Kalahari Journey' records what Isaacson finds in these silent, empty spaces: the trance dances he attends, the wildlife he hunts, the wild plants he helps gather, the characters, corruption, kindness and confusion of a people who have wrenched themselves from the Stone Age into the new millennium.