“LOOK HERE, SIR, WHAT A CURIOUS BIRD” by Paul Spencer Sochaczewski (Malaysia)


“Look Here, Sir, What a Curious Bird”: Searching for Ali, Alfred Russel Wallace’s Faithful Companion

by Paul Sochaczewski (Malaysia 1969-71)
Explorer’s Eye Press
289 pages
July 2023
$8.95 (Kindle); $17.95 (Paperback)


Bestselling author Paul Sochaczewski’s highly acclaimed nonfiction books of personal travel include the five-volume Curious Encounters of the Human Kind series, An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles, The Sultan and the Mermaid Queen, Soul of the Tiger (with Jeff McNeely), and Searching for Ganesha. Gary Braver, bestselling author of Tunnel Vision, said Paul’s work is “in the great tradition of Asian reporting. The humanity of Somerset Maugham, the adventure of Joseph Conrad, the perception of Paul Theroux, and a self-effacing voice uniquely his own.” Paul’s handbook for people who want to write their personal stories, Share Your Journey, is based on the personal writing workshops he runs in more than 20 countries. Redheads and EarthLove are his eco-thrillers, set in the rainforest of a mythical sultanate in Borneo.

Paul Sochaczewski (Malaysia 1969-71)

Paul is an American writer (born in Brooklyn, New York), writing coach, conservationist, and communications advisor to international non-governmental organizations. He lives in Geneva, Switzerland, and has lived and worked in more than 80 countries, including long stints in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Paul served in the United States Peace Corps from 1969 to 1971, working as an education advisor in Sarawak, Malaysia. This exposure to Asia informed his writing, and as a result most of his work has a Southeast Asian theme. He was also founding creative director of J. Walter Thompson advertising agency in Indonesia and Singapore.

As head of creative services at WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature, 1981-1994, he created international public awareness campaigns to protect rainforests, wetlands, plants, and biological diversity, and managed the WWF Faith and Environment Network. With a MacArthur Foundation grant, from mid-1992 to mid-1993 he took a leave of absence from WWF to research environmental problems in the Pacific for the Environment Program at the East-West Center in Honolulu. He then worked for ten years as global communications director of the International Osteoporosis

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