MIXING IT UP ON THE ASIAN TRAIL …”So I get up at dawn … marveling at fog burning off into mist tumbling down like the finest mosquito netting of silk … The hills beyond the confluence, like shoulders of a woman undressing, the way the shroud of mist lifts off feminine curves, higher and higher … I tingle all over, feeling there on Borneo the dream tug of Joseph Conrad’s fiction.” By turns pathbreaking and intimate, this smorgasbord of travel essays scales down the sprawl of Asia by focusing on the unique and revelatory in sharp, crisp prose. See up close and personal the razzmatazz of novice monks at play in northern Laos, the hustle of pedicab drivers in Ho Chi Minh City, the rainforests blazed on gutsy treks across Borneo and Thailand’s Elephant Island …Served up nice and spicy, Asian Trail Mix is travel at its most sumptuous. Snack on it!
In this fiery tale set in steamy equatorial Africa, Peace Corps volunteer David Fields is on mission: to build a medical dispensary in a village where spells are cast on enemies and fear of a geek-shaman reigns. David seldom has his bearings – cultural or geographical – and must fight a cocktail of tropical maladies as well as social taboos as he throws himself into work. Until… he meets Assam. Captivated by her water drumming, her playing the stream as a drum, David is drawn to her early on and becomes the hunter captured by the game. And what a rollicking game of love it is – with a tension or excitement between them that never dissipates, … until the haunting end.
Water Drumming in the Soul: A Novel of Racy Love in the Heart of Africa
by Eric Madeen (Gabon 1981-83)
$ 2.99 (Kindle); $9.99 (Paperback)
Eric Madeen (Gabon 1981-83) is an associate professor of modern literature at Tokyo City University and an adjunct professor at Keio University. He’s an award-winning author whose writing has been published widely – in Time, Asia Week, The East, The Daily Yomiuri, Tokyo Journal, Kyoto Journal, Metropolis, Mississippi Review, ANA’s inflight magazine Wingspan, Japanophile, The Pretentious Idea, several academic journals and so on. He has been featured in several radio interviews (9 in the USA and 1 in Japan) and various print media.
From a very early age reading and writing have been as natural to him as breathing. Sharpened in then world’s largest ad agency Dentsu for clients as diverse as Mazda and Sony (Sony No Baloney!) his prose allows for an immediate emotional entry into a sublime, exotic land. Specifically, his two-plus years as a Peace Corps volunteer in francophone Gabon, Africa, where he built a primary school complex in an equatorial village surrounded by rainforest, inspired his multicultural love story Water Drumming in the Soul, which resonates with the personal and passionate all the way through to the heart-wrenching end.
His most recent novel, Massage World, is a super high-octane thriller. By turns erotic and exotic but always zesty, its plot twists and linkage are tight and full of surprises … peopled as it is with a rogues gallery found in the nether reaches of a Dionysian dream. Sandwiched between the two is the travel essay compilation Asian Trail Mix: True Tales from Borneo to Japan which scales down the sprawl of Asia by laser focusing on the unique and revelatory in sharp, crisp prose.
Originally from a Chicago suburb, Eric Madeen lives with his family in Yokohama.