On the Trail of the Snow Leopard: Sylvain Tesson’s Latest in English

Is it ungodly hot where you are, like it's been in New York City these last weeks? Then let's go freeze our asses off in Tibet with French author Sylvain Tesson. One of my favorite authors (especially in translation), Tesson's latest book, 2019's award-winning La panthère des neiges, is published in English next week as... Continue Reading →

“Nothing More Familiar to the American Landscape Than Highways and Religion”

Review: Roadside Religion: In Search of the Sacred, the Strange, and the Substance of Faith, by Timothy Beal Perhaps you take to the road with the explicit aim of [...] discovering the world beyond your world. But what you end up discovering may be something more profoundly transformative and re-creative: yourself beyond yourself, in other... Continue Reading →

Russia, In the Words of Its Neighbors

Book review: The Border: A Journey Around Russia, by Erika Fatland, translated from Norwegian by Kari Dickson I turned and looked out at the grey ocean. Here, right here, is where Asia and mighty Russia end. In The Border: A Journey Around Russia, journalist and Sovietistan author Erika Fatland embarks on an ambitious nine-month journey... Continue Reading →

What Pianos Mean to Siberia, And More

Book review: The Lost Pianos of Siberia, by Sophy Roberts (Amazon) There is no dramatic curtain-raiser to the edge of Siberia, no meaningful brink to a specific place, just thick weather hanging over an abstract idea. It is a modern economic miracle, with natural oil and gas reserves driving powerful shifts in the geopolitics of... Continue Reading →

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