Nicholas Roerich--prolific artist and writer, renowned philosopher, educator, and explorer--relates the remarkable encounters and events of his travels through central Asia and Tibet at the turn of the century. Through his detailed diary notes and the chronicling of legends and parables, he reveals the many facets of the tale of Shambhala, the long-awaited realization of paradise on earth. In Western mythology, Shambhala appears as the mythic land of Shangri-la. In the prophecies of the East, it is seen as both a physical place and the dawning of a New Era of enlightened consciousness. Roerich found signs of the imminent arrival of Shambhala at every juncture of his journey--in the legends of local villagers and within their rock paintings and engravings. In keeping with the ancient traditions, Roerich felt that Shambhala would be attained not inevitably or without effort, but only as a result of "the Noblest and most intensive activity." A living example of this philosophy, he worked unceasingly for peace through culture, believing that "obstacles are only new possibilities to create beneficent energy." Chapters on Tibetan art, the desert cities, subterranean dwellers, and the Great Mother give the reader crystalline glimpses of Roerich's manifold vision and the vast panorama of his life journey toward a new age of human achievement.
A masterful work of personal reportage, this volume is also a vibrant portrait of a mysterious people and an essential document of a disappearing culture.Fabled, feared, romanticized, and reviled, the Gypsies--or Roma--are among the least understood people on earth. Their culture remains largely obscure, but in Isabel Fonseca they have found an eloquent witness. In Bury Me Standing, alongside unforgettable portraits of individuals--the poet, the politician, the child prostitute--Fonseca offers sharp insights into the humor, language, wisdom, and taboos of the Roma. She traces their exodus out of India 1,000 years ago and their astonishing history of persecution: enslaved by the princes of medieval Romania; massacred by the Nazis; forcibly assimilated by the communist regimes; evicted from their settlements in Eastern Europe, and most recently, in Western Europe as well. Whether as handy scapegoats or figments of the romantic imagination, the Gypsies have always been with us--but never before have they been brought so vividly to life. Includes fifty black and white photos.
In 1928, Edgar Snow (1905-1972) set out to see the world, hoping to make his mark as a travel-adventure writer. Shanghai was to be a mere stopover, but Snow stayed on in China for thirteen more years. The idealistic young Midwesterner became a journalist and ultimately developed close friendships with China's emerging revolutionary leaders. His 1938 classic, Red Star over China, strongly influenced American views of the Chinese Communists and is still in print nearly sixty years later.This biography breaks fresh ground with its unique and extensive use of Snow's diaries of over forty years. These writings convey Snow's private hopes and fears, his moods and motivations. Thomas skillfully links them with Snow's public writings and deeds. By recreating the milieu in which Snow worked in China, Thomas provides a clearer understanding of both the man and his times. Snow came to China devoid of any political agenda or sinological background. He returned home a politically astute China hand and famed journalist-author. His writing had taken on the nature of political action, which resulted in troubled soul-searching that Snow usually confined to his diary. Thomas's portrait of Ed Snow reveals a man caught up in an important historical moment, a man who profoundly influenced, and was influenced by, the events that swirled around him.
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year"Full of insights, marvelously entertaining . . . haunting and beautifully written."
--The New York Review of Books "I lived in Athens, at the intersection of a prostitute and a saint." So begins Patricia Storace's astonishing memoir of her year in Greece. Mixing affection with detachment, rapture with clarity, this American poet perfectly evokes a country delicately balanced between East and West. Whether she is interpreting Hellenic dream books, pop songs, and soap operas, describing breathtakingly beautiful beaches and archaic villages, or braving the crush at a saint's tomb, Storace, winner of the Whiting Award, rewards the reader with informed and sensual insights into Greece's soul. She sees how the country's pride in its past coexists with profound doubts about its place in the modern world. She discovers a world in which past and present engage in a passionate dialogue. Stylish, funny, and erudite, Dinner with Persephone is travel writing elevated to a fine art--and the best book of its kind since Henry Miller's The Colossus of Maroussi. "Splendid. Storace's account of a year in Greece combines past and present, legend and fact, in an unusual and delightful whole. "
Featuring an all-new cover, New York Times bestseller Bill Bryson's irrevent and hilarious journey through the beloved island nation he called home for two decades. From Downing Street to Loch Ness, this is a delightful look at the United Kingdom.
Before New York Times bestselling author Bill Bryson wrote The Road to Little Dribbling, he took this delightfully irreverent jaunt around the unparalleled floating nation of Great Britain, which has produced zebra crossings, Shakespeare, Twiggie Winkie's Farm, and places with names like Farleigh Wallop and Titsey.
"The kind of book Steinbeck might have written if he'd traveled with David Letterman." --New York magazine
An inspiring and hilarious account of one man's rediscovery of America and his search for the perfect small town.
Following an urge to rediscover his youth, Bill Bryson left his native Des Moines, Iowa, in a journey that would take him across 38 states. Lucky for us, he brought a notebook. With a razor wit and a kind heart, Bryson serves up a colorful tale of boredom, kitsch, and beauty when you least expect it. From Times Square to the Mississippi River to Williamsburg, Virginia, Bryson's keen and hilarious search for the perfect American small town is a journey straight into the heart and soul of America.
Arranged by letter of the alphabet, with at least one entry per letter, these short pieces capture the variety of daily life in contemporary China. Writing about traditions that endure in rural areas as well as the absurdities of bureaucracy experienced by an American teacher and traveler in the 1980s, the essays cover such topics as dumpling making, bound feet, Chinglish, night soil, and banking. A new afterword reacts to recent changes in China.
Writing a love letter to Great Britain, the America author celebrates badger-watching in the countryside, the London theatre, ghost-hunting, tour guiding students, and other pleasures of traveling through England. Reprint.
Presents a collection of humorous accounts of travel adventures taking the author to the rapids beneath the Himalayas, the "grand terror" of Montana, Dian Fossey's forbidden zone, a fundamentalist commune, and beyond