Friday, August 30, 2013

"Mumbai New York Scranton" by Tamara Shopsin

A combination of travel journal and tales from the hospital bed, and it's superb.  It is not only the adventure, but the way Tamara Shopsin's tells the tale.  She writes with minimal sentences, but with maximum meaning.   Her travels through out India captures not only the country, but also her personality and how she perceives that experience in such an enlightened manner.  Tamara and her husband the noted (and fantastic) photographer Jason Fulford go to India with a pair of fresh eyes (her's) and a desire to return to an area or memory (his).  Fulford noticed the changes, and Shopsin sees India on a first time basis.  I really identify with this because I have taken friends to places that i greatly admired, but either the place has changed or I have changed, and I wasn't aware of it.

There is physical traveling and then there is mental travel, and both are conveyed quite well in this book.  Shopsin noticed that she was feeling ill in India but thought it was due to the traveling, but it was something serious.  But this is not a woe me story, but an adventure narrative of sorts, and I started reading it this morning and i couldn't put it down till I finished.  The book also has images by Fulford, which if you know his work, is quite mysterious as well as witty.  He is the perfect traveling companion and his documentation of the trip is wonderful.  But we also get Shopsin's illustration through out the book, and she is known for her drawings for publications such as the New York Times.  Her imagery is great as drawings, but also in words.  A great upbeat book.
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