Welcome to the official website of Richard Hamilton. Richard is the author of The Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco (2011) and Tangier (2019).
‘In Tangier,’ the Moroccan novelist Mohamed Choukri wrote, ‘everything is surreal and everything is possible.’ In this intimate portrait of a city, the former BBC North Africa correspondent, Richard Hamilton, explores its hotels, cafes, alleyways and darkest secrets to find out what it is that has inspired so many international writers, artists and musicians. Delving down through complex historical layers, he finds a frontier town that is comic, confounding and haunted by the ghosts of its past. Samuel Pepys thought God should destroy Tangier and St Francis of Assisi called it a city of ‘madness and delusions.’ And yet, throughout the centuries, Tangier has also been a crucible of creativity. It was a turning point in Henri Matisse’s artistic journey and had a profound impact on the founder of the Rolling Stones, Brian Jones. Tangier also produced two of the greatest American novels of the twentieth century: The Sheltering Sky and Naked Lunch. Besides Paul Bowles and William Burroughs, the book also looks at lesser known characters such as the flawed genius, Brion Gysin, as well as Ibn Battuta, who travelled three times further than Marco Polo. The city’s contradictory quality is perhaps best encapsulated in a local saying: ‘you cry when you leave Tangier and you cry when you arrive.’
The Last Storytellers is a collection of traditional tales, myths and legends recorded directly from the last few surviving storytellers in Marrakech.
Richard has presented his book and read stories at festivals around the world including the Oxford Literary Festival, the Marrakech Biennale, the Hakaya Storytelling Festival in Amman and the Gibraltar Literary Festival.
To read more about the book see The Last Storytellers.
Richard’s latest project is the House of Stories – a collection of videos of traditional storytellers from all over the world. Following on from The Last Storytellers, which aimed to preserve traditional tales from Morocco, the House of Stories hopes to do the same for endangered folk tales, legends and myths across the globe. Its aim is to eventually become the largest online library of stories ever collected, that everyone can access forever.
Contact Richard: firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard reading The King and his Prime Minister by Abderrahim El Makkouri from The Last Storytellers
Abderrahim El Makkouri: The King and his Prime Minister (Traditional Moroccan tale)