Interview Ed Caesar on Maurice Wilson, the Moth and the Mountain
The year is 1934. A flight across continents and a trek of many hundreds of miles brings an inexperienced pilot and novice mountaineer to the Roof of the World and the foot of a yet-unclimbed Mount Everest. After an improbable 12-month journey, his focus narrows to a one-inch square of paper showing the summit, purposefully cut out from his map and carried in his chest pocket. He wants to climb Everest solo, and has artfully dodged diplomatic and logistical hurdles - and death - to get there. When Maurice Wilson and the mountain finally meet, it marks the culmination of years of soul-searching obsession born out of the trauma of war.
Those with a basic grasp of Everest's history will know that Wilson didn't succeed, but his gutsy attempt and its intriguing backstory - long relegated to the footnotes of Everest's annals - are ascending to prominence thanks to award-winning author and The New Yorker writer Ed Caesar and his latest book The Moth and The Mountain: A True Story of Love, War and Everest.