The Bird Man and The Lap Dancer


Eric Hansen

08/06/2006 | Paperback |

ISBN: 9780413774996

About The Bird Man and The Lap Dancer


Another magical travel book by the bestselling author of Orchid Fever.


The best, most enduring travel writers don't invite readers to merely view vistas through other eyes, but take the trip further, deep into the psychology of place.


Hansen does just that in this lyrical collection that is equal parts travelogue, memoir and anthropological treatise. He details explorations from his 20s, 30s and 40s, all of which are compelling, surprising and utterly memorable.


Though some are set in Europe, most take place in distant, alluring places in Asia and the South Pacific. 'Night Fishing with Nahimah' recalls Hansen's extended 1977 trip to the Maldives Islands near Singapore, where he journeyed to smuggle fish from the islands to the mainland. In the Maldives, he encountered an island paradise awash in contradictions, devoutly Muslim yet devoid of sexual inhibitions.


Eric Hansen

Eric Hansen lives in San Francisco, but over the last twenty-five years he has travelled throughout Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Nepal, and Southeast Asia. He is the author of Stranger in the Forest, Motoring with Mohammed, and Orchid Fever all published by Methuen. His articles, photographs, and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, National Geographic, Travel & Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, and Outside magazine, among other publications worldwide.




'Listening to the Kava' takes him to the outer islands of Vanuata, where he partakes of a hallucinogenic drink with local men. 'Life at the Grand Hotel' evokes Hansen's months-long stay on Thursday Island in the Pacific after the prawn trawler he was working on nearly capsized in a storm. The wild goings-on at the seedy little hotel are hilarious, poignant and distinctly of another era. But Hansen's most enthralling tale is 'Life Lessons from a Dying Stranger,' about how, while negotiating Calcutta's bureaucratic maze for shipping large packages, Hansen volunteers at Mother Teresa's 'Nirmal Hriday' (Home for Dying Destitutes). This haunting vignette alone makes this magical book worthwhile.'

Publishers Weekly

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