“An illuminating travelogue through Central Asia…. As a genial travel guide, Mould, an academic who doesn’t write like an academic, shows how one should resist the temptations to stereotype a culture too easily and understand it too quickly.”
Kirkus Reviews (Praise for Postcards from Stanland: Journeys in Central Asia)
“Mould is the ideal author to demystify the region and its people…. (An) accomplished tome that covers topics ranging from culture and politics to history, the environment, economics, and human rights.…VERDICT: With a sense of humor, Mould’s memoir will … stimulate interest in this lesser-known region.”
Library Journal (Praise for Postcards from Stanland: Journeys in Central Asia)
In Monsoon Postcards, journalist David H. Mould, notebook in hand, traverses the Indian Ocean—from Madagascar through India and Bangladesh to Indonesia. It’s an unpredictable journey on battered buses, bush taxis, auto-rickshaws, and crowded ferries. Mould travels from the traffic snarls of Delhi, Dhaka, and Jakarta to the rice paddies and ancestral tombs of Madagascar’s Central Highlands; from the ancient kingdom of Hyderabad to India’s so-called chicken neck—the ethnically diverse and underdeveloped northeast; and from the textile factories and rivers of Bangladesh to the beaches of Bali and the province of Aceh—ground zero for the 2004 tsunami.
Along the way, in markets, shops, roadside cafes, and classrooms, he meets journalists, professors, students, aid workers, cab drivers, and other everyday residents to learn how they view their past and future. Much like its predecessor, Mould’s Postcards from Stanland, Monsoon Postcards offers witty and insightful glimpses into countries linked by history, trade, migration, religion, and a colonial legacy. It explores how they confront the challenges of climate change, urban growth, economic development, land, water and natural resources, and national and ethnic identity.
David H. Mould, professor emeritus of media arts and studies at Ohio University, has traveled widely in Asia and southern Africa as a trainer, consultant, and researcher. He has written articles and essays for many print and online publications. Born in the United Kingdom, he worked as a newspaper and TV journalist before moving to the United States in 1978. More info →
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Central Asia has long stood at the crossroads of history. It was the staging ground for the armies of the Mongol Empire, for the nineteenth-century struggle between the Russian and British empires, and for the NATO campaign in Afghanistan. Today, multinationals and nations compete for the oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea and for control of the pipelines. Yet “Stanland” is still, to many, a terra incognita, a geographical blank.
Judith M. Heimann entered the diplomatic life in 1958 to join her husband, John, in Jakarta, Indonesia, at his American Embassy post. This, her first time out of the United States, would set her on a path across the continents as she mastered the fine points of diplomatic culture. She did so first as a spouse, then as a diplomat herself, thus becoming part of one of the Foreign Service’s first tandem couples.
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