All the Time in the World

Hugo Williams

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‘I believe I shall be writing home about this trip for the rest of my life… years from now, still recollecting, like an old white hunter, shadowy images to an empty fireplace, far into the night…’

All the Time in the World, a first work of prose by the poet Hugo Williams, was originally published in 1966 and commemorates Williams’ effort at age 21 to ‘travel the world’: the Middle East, India, South-East Asia, Japan and Australia. Rich with striking and vivid perceptions of people and places and perilous forms of transport, the account also finds Williams acquiring precious life-experience, even as the setting moves from the self-evident ‘poem’ of India’s landscape to barren, petrified Northern Australia. In Calcutta Williams looks up the great Satyajit Ray through the telephone book. In Thailand he meets a girl at a dance-hall, moves into her sunny flat, contemplates staying. But to England he will return, albeit by the most unexpectedly arduous leg of his amazing journey.


Hugo Williams was born in 1942 and grew up in Sussex. He worked on the London Magazine from 1961 to 1970, since when he has earned his living as a journalist and travel writer. Billy’s Rain won the T. S. Eliot Prize in 1999. His Collected Poems was published by Faber in 2002 and his last collection, I Knew the…

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