Descent into Paradise
‘Rich and valuable’ ANJAN SUNDARAM
‘Honest ... written in sharp, rippling prose’ ANDREW FIDEL FERNANDO
‘A brave and timely effort’ JASON BURKE
‘Immersive and eye-opening’ HASSAN UGAIL
‘A moving, personal and heartfelt tale of the real Maldives: far deeper and more sinister waters than the azure lagoons of the resorts for which it is famed’ JJ ROBINSON
In the autumn of 2011, the postman-turned-journalist Daniel Bosley embarked on an unexpected adventure which started as an internship in London’s Maldives High Commission – the diplomatic mission of the Indian Ocean tourism hotspot. Little did he know that he would soon set off on an odyssey through an imperilled island nation undergoing one of the most tumultuous periods in its history.
Over the next seven years, Bosley worked as a journalist in the Maldives, reporting on its volatile political landscape and shattering the picture-perfect view of this supposed paradise. Taking us into a nation of a thousand isles, he reveals a shaded past of sultans, imperialists and Western explorers before a modern-day dictatorship was finally overturned by a democracy that immediately plunged into turmoil. While dissenters and intrepid reporters faced abduction, imprisonment, and even death, the climate crisis and Islamist zealots posed ever greater threats to the country’s vulnerable environment and its ancient culture. As the editor of the Maldives’ main English-language news website, Bosley witnessed some of these events first-hand, his personal distress assuaged only by the love and hope he would come to find – against all odds – within these isolated atoll communities.
Richly observed and infused with empathy and essential humour, Descent into Paradise thoroughly alters our understanding of the Maldives, a place where magical waters and surreal skies hide unthinkable dangers even as the struggle for justice risks submersion.