This lyrical memoir will transport you to the breathtaking landscapes of West Africa, whose stark beauties will instill wonder in even the most experienced traveler. Sovich's journey reveals that sometimes we must pursue that distant glimmer on the horizon in order to find the things we value most.
Nina Sovich had always yearned for adventures in faraway places; she imagined herself leading the life of a solitary traveler. Yet at the age of thirty-four, she found herself married and contemplating motherhood. Catching her reflection in a window spotted with Paris rain, she no longer saw the fearless woman who spent her youth travelling in Cairo, Lahore, and the West Bank staring back at her. Unwittingly, she had followed life's script, and now she needed to cast it out.
Inspired by female explorers like Mary Kingsley, who explored Gabon's jungle in the 1890s, and Karen Blixen, who ran a farm in Kenya during World War I, Sovich packed her bags and hopped on the next plane to Africa in search of adventure.
To the Moon and Timbuktu takes readers on a fast-paced trek through Western Sahara, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, bringing their textures and flavors into vivid relief. On Sovich's travels, she encounters rough-and-tumble Chinese sailors, a Venezuelan doctor working himself to death in Chinguetti, indifferent French pensioners RVing along the coast, and a close-knit circle of Nigerien women who adopt her into their fold, showing her the promise of Africa's future.
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"A deeply personal journey into an incredibly remote region. Sovich casts her polished journalistic eye on the anguish and sublime beauty she encounters while unflinchingly narrating her own intensely intimate journey." - Publishers Weekly
"While her stories are moving and the scenery is as beautifully caught as with a camera, Sovich reaches for spiritual life lessons that fail to ring true." - Kirkus
"In her astute travel memoir, Sovich examines the dilemma so many women face: how to choose between a life of domesticity and one of adventure. An engaging, suspenseful, deeply philosophical anatomy of the process of making - and making peace with - life's major choices." - Rosemary Mahoney, More Magazine
"To the Moon and Timbuktu traverses the wide open expanses of the desert and the interior labyrinths of the travelling id with a lyrical, wonderful and heartfelt generosity of spirit. Nina Sovich is a new kind of travel writer: honest, open and brave. Here are the soaring vistas and the warm funny details that would draw us all to the open road and up-and-down adventures along the way. I loved every page." - Wendell Steavenson, writer for The New Yorker and author of Stories I Stole
"Nina Sovich's spare, uninhibited writing blasts through journalistic cliches. There are sentences that recall Andre Gide's The Immoralist. Her soaring description of the Niger River in Mali is exactly as I experienced it. Her description of Mauritania's utter desolation makes me want to go there." - Robert D. Kaplan, author of The Revenge of Geography "In reading To the Moon and Timbuktu I constantly had to fight off the call to pack up my suitcases and book the next flight to Bhutan, Iceland or Laos. Nina Sovich's luscious, intelligent and deeply philosophical memoir of a solo trip to the almost-mythical land of Timbuktu reminds me of my own wild side. She is the perfect companion to this faraway placeequal parts questing, compassionate, graceful and literary. She reminds us that it is in exploration that we find freedom, humanity and our true selves again."Alison Singh Gee, author of Where the Peacock Sings: A Palace, a Prince, and the Search for Home
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Over the past decade, Nina Sovich has written for The Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, TIME, Fortune Small Business, and The Patriot Ledger. Most recently she was a wire reporter at Dow Jones and then at Reuters in Paris where she covered everything from fashion shows to banking reform. Visit her at www.thesestolendays.com/nina-sovich
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