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Kingdoms in the Air: Dispatches from the Far Away
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Published:
Grove Atlantic 2016
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Description
This "exuberant travel and cultural anthology" by the National Book Award–winning author "brings each setting to life with a perceptive eye" (Booklist, starred review). Best known for his sweeping political novels, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, Bob Shacochis began his career as a journalist and contributing editor for Outside magazine and Harper's. Kingdoms in the Air brings together the very best of Shacochis's culture and travel essays in a collection that spans his global adventures and passions; from Kathmandu to Mozambique, from his love of surfing to his obsession with the South American dorado. In the titular essay "Kingdoms," the longest work in the collection, Shacochis ventures to Nepal with his friend, the photographer Thomas Laird, who was the first foreigner to live in Nepal's Kingdom of Mustang as the forbidden Shangri-La prepared to open its borders to trekkers and trade. Replete with Shacochis's swagger, humor, and wisdom, Kingdoms in the Air is an essential collection of travel writing by an author who "has extended his knowledge and imagination into places most of us have never ventured" (Washington Post).
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/07/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780802190222
ASIN:
B01AGZ8LR2
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Bob Shacochis. (2016). Kingdoms in the Air: Dispatches from the Far Away. Grove Atlantic.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Bob Shacochis. 2016. Kingdoms in the Air: Dispatches From the Far Away. Grove Atlantic.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Bob Shacochis, Kingdoms in the Air: Dispatches From the Far Away. Grove Atlantic, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Bob Shacochis. Kingdoms in the Air: Dispatches From the Far Away. Grove Atlantic, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:18:53
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:42:43
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Apr 11, 2021 07:03:33
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Apr 15, 2021 02:27:52

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        Bob Shacochis's first collection of stories, Easy in the Islands, won the National Book Award for First Fiction, and his second collection, The Next New World, was awarded the Prix de Rome from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is also the author of the novel Swimming in the Volcano, a finalist for the National Book Award, The Immaculate Invasion, a work of literary reportage that was a finalist for The New Yorker Book Award for Best Nonfiction of the Year; and The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, which won the Dayton Peace Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Shacochis is a contributing editor at Outside, a former columnist for Gentleman's Quarterly, and has served as a contributing editor for Harper's and GQ. His op-eds on the US military, Haiti, and Florida politics have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

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shortDescription
This "exuberant travel and cultural anthology" by the National Book Award–winning author "brings each setting to life with a perceptive eye" (Booklist, starred review).

Best known for his sweeping political novels, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, Bob Shacochis began his career as a journalist and contributing editor for Outside magazine and Harper's. Kingdoms in the Air brings together the very best of Shacochis's culture and travel essays in a collection that spans his global adventures and passions; from Kathmandu to Mozambique, from his love of surfing to his obsession with the South American dorado.

In the titular essay "Kingdoms," the longest work in the collection, Shacochis ventures to Nepal with his friend, the photographer Thomas Laird, who was the first foreigner to live in Nepal's Kingdom of Mustang as the forbidden Shangri-La prepared to...
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title
Kingdoms in the Air
fullDescription
This "exuberant travel and cultural anthology" by the National Book Award–winning author "brings each setting to life with a perceptive eye" (Booklist, starred review).

Best known for his sweeping political novels, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, Bob Shacochis began his career as a journalist and contributing editor for Outside magazine and Harper's. Kingdoms in the Air brings together the very best of Shacochis's culture and travel essays in a collection that spans his global adventures and passions; from Kathmandu to Mozambique, from his love of surfing to his obsession with the South American dorado.

In the titular essay "Kingdoms," the longest work in the collection, Shacochis ventures to Nepal with his friend, the photographer Thomas Laird, who was the first foreigner to live in Nepal's Kingdom of Mustang as the forbidden Shangri-La prepared to open its borders to trekkers and trade. Replete with Shacochis's swagger, humor, and wisdom, Kingdoms in the Air is an essential collection of travel writing by an author who "has extended his knowledge and imagination into places most of us have never ventured" (Washington Post).
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      • premium: False
      • source: New York Times Book Review
      • content: “The pieces collected in Kingdoms in the Air are vivid portraits of iconoclasts and rugged individualists who have surrendered their Western comforts for adventure and higher purpose in the developing world . . . Shacochis evokes the pains and pleasures of [his] trek with lyrical prose."
      • premium: False
      • source: Men's Journal, a Best Book of the Month
      • content: “Shacochis' fiery, wrought prose is on full display . . . This is travel writing at its finest."
      • premium: False
      • source: Los Angeles Times
      • content: “[A] career-defining collection of magazine writing . . . [it] inspires us not to argue with destiny."
      • premium: False
      • source: Boston Globe
      • content: “Shacochis is intent on nailing down what it means to be an American on the global stage of the late-20th and early-21st centuries . . . [he] uses every weapon in his writer's arsenal. Comic hyperbole and copious high dudgeon lead the way. Capsule national histories and sharp contemporary observations fill out the picture. Whether he's in Cuba, Mozambique, or attempting to climb Mount Ararat, he vividly places you in both the past and present of his destinations . . . [his] restlessness and recklessness, all couched in a headlong
        maximalist prose, are impossible to resist."
      • premium: False
      • source: Tampa Bay Times
      • content: “[This book] gives readers a vicarious sidecar seat for a life for which 'adventure travel' is far too mild, and simple, a term . . . Shacochis is interested in the places that are not easy, and in how it changes us to visit them--and how we change them in return . . . He melds his personal experiences of some of the globe's wildest places with incisive analyses of history, culture, politics and more . . . [with] wry self-awareness, a tender heart and a brilliant, analytical intellect. His writing is simply splendid."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist (starred review)
      • content: “[An] exuberant travel and cultural anthology . . . Shacochis brings each setting to life with a perceptive eye, an edgy devotion to fresh language, and mastery at capturing group interaction . . . his diverse, vibrant essays, brimming with initiative, may inspire some to seek the unique rewards of unstructured travel."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "Witty, irreverent . . . [an] enlightening travel collection for a voyage of self-discovery."
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        April 1, 2016
        Reflections on a wild life of daring travel. Award-winning fiction writer and journalist Shacochis (The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, 2013, etc.), a contributing editor for Outside, was infected with wanderlust even as a boy growing up in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. His "disease of waywardness," his mother told him, "had the potential" to land him "in serious trouble." As his witty, irreverent travel essays demonstrate, it was not only his love of travel, but often his complete lack of preparation that threatened to cause trouble. In the far east of Russia, for example, he armed himself with pepper spray as protection against bears. "You have pepper spray?" a Russian asked him. "What for? To make bear cry before he absolutely eat you?" On his 39th birthday, Shacochis decided it was time for his "nicotine-fouled, under-exercised" body to scale 16,943-foot Mount Ararat. In all ways, he writes, "I was either uninformed or ignorant, and considered both states to be the mother of adventure." With no experience fishing, he gave in to his obsession with the South American dorado, his "dream fish." In his 20s, he met a couple who had renounced "convention and orthodoxy" to invent a ruggedly adventuresome life for themselves. Despite challenges and discomfort, he learned from them "that there's never a good reason to make your world small." In the long title essay, the author recounts in palpable detail his travels to Nepal in 2001 with his friend, photographer Tom Laird, who first visited that country in 1972 and "fell under the spell of the mountains and the culture." Nearly 20 years later, Laird gained permission to document life and art in Mustang, a place of "melodramatic romanticism," shrouded in mystery. Shacochis details Nepal's tumultuous political past, vividly renders the landscape's "luminous presence" and "physical sacredness," and sensitively portrays Laird's passions. "Sink into an otherness," the author advises in this enlightening travel collection, for a voyage of self-discovery.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from May 15, 2016
        In the afterword, National Book Awardwinner Shacochis (The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, 2013) urges travelers to test comfort zones, as if that impulse was avoidable while reading this exuberant travel and cultural anthology. Destination becomes irrelevant as Shacochis brings each setting to life with a perceptive eye, an edgy devotion to fresh language, and mastery at capturing group interaction. He often wrestles with a dilemma faced by many living in poor, touristy regionshow to balance development while preserving character. A hidden Himalayan kingdom allows some visitors, then becomes overrun. A sleepy Caribbean island sprouts resorts and casinos. Russian thugs control entire rivers, poaching caviar and leaving piles of dead salmon. Mexican villagers earn more money and watch more TV yet long for the simpler lives they led before a resort usurped their beaches. Cuba embraces glitzy tourism to finance the communist revolution. Conservation-minded readers may balk when Shacochis plows through natural habitats on a tank-like ATV, an Amazonian power boat, or low-flying helicopters. But his unflinching treatment of many Third World predicaments will engage every reader. Shacochis lauds people with little money who claw their way to adventure, and his diverse, vibrant essays, brimming with initiative, may inspire some to seek the unique rewards of unstructured travel.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

subtitle
Dispatches from the Far Away
popularity
26
publisher
Grove Atlantic
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