Today’s interview will take us all the way to Turkey, from there along the Silk Road to India, and we’ll even take a (simulated) trip to Mars.
Well, no it won’t – but Kate Harris‘ Lands of Lost Borders will take readers to these places.
Before that, though, a bit about my most recent, decidedly less adventurous trip – to the Danforth, to a neat little “Japanese comfort food” restaurant known as Sakawa Coffee (they might sell coffee, but I didn’t notice, being too busy with gyoza, ramen and Asahi Super Dry). Some old friends and I met there and, courtesy of an arts grant, we had dinner and dove into a three-hour interview. I was also given hours and hours of digitized Super 8 footage recorded back in our days of slinging whiskey & water for Japanese salarymen. Short of finding a time machine and returning to Nagano in 1996, this was probably the best way for me to research my current novel. On top of that, I got to go sing karaoke songs in tribute to our recently departed friend, Tanaka Kazumasa (who is likely singing “Sister Golden Hair” on celestial karaoke as we speak).
Never let it be said that research is boring.
Harris didn’t ‘research” Lands of Lost Borders: Out Of Bounds on the Silk Road. She lived it, and she lived it hard – a multi-month bicycle journey down the legendary trading route known as the Silk Road. The story of her journey is incredible, but there’s so much more here than travelogue or memoir. The book is filled with vivid imagery, insightful philosophy, fascinating history, and much more. I did my best not to fan-boy (can I use that as a verb?), but listen and see for yourself. Enjoy!