Jeff Greenwald Scratching the Surface

ISBN 13: 9781587900181

Scratching the Surface

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Jeff Greenwald’s four previous books, including his best-selling Shopping for Buddhas and The Size of the World, have taken thousands of readers on journeys ranging from the ruins of Angkor to the bazaars of Iran—journeys at once sublime and provocative, spiritual and absurd. Whether ascending a miraculous escalator in a Kathmandu shopping mall or sinking, amidst tattooed yakuza, into a Japanese electric bath, Greenwald finds beauty in the details—and knits them into his vivid, quirky narratives. Here is the best of Jeff Greenwald’s short travel writing, hand-picked from two decades of open-eyed dispatches. Spanning oceans, continents, and the quantum leap from the Smith-Corona to the Cybercafé, these stories provide an illuminating, often hilarious view of our changing world, as seen through the eyes of America’s favorite cult travel writer.

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From the Publisher:

Travel books have been a hard sell in the wake of September 11th. As a result, this book represents Jeff's first self-publishing venture. It is released under the imprint "Naga Books" -- a division of Berkeley's venerable Regent Press (regentpress@mindspring.com).That will take you to ProForma: an e-store with a secure server, just like Amazon. (The book is also available at a number of San Francisco area bookstores). Local and national signings will also be posted on Jeff's website.

From the Author:

"Scratching the Surface" is a labor of love, and a reply to the many readers who have emailed me asking where they can find examples of my short pieces. Each of the stories in the book is introduced by a brief teaser, putting the piece in the context of my career -- and of contemporary travel writing in general.

The decision to self-publish -- far more controversial for authors than for musicians of filmmakers -- was made quite gleefully. I see it as a risky but necessary adventure, at a time when travelogues (especially ones with glowing endorsements of travel to Iran!) are not exactly the darling of the New York publishing industry.

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