Two Novels by Eric Madeen (Gabon)


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!

Asian Trail Mix: True Tales from Borneo to Japan
by Eric Madeen (Gabon 1981-83)
Independently published
93 pages
$2.99 (Kindle); $7.99 (Paperback)


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)
Independently published
218 pages
April 2021
$ 2.99 (Kindle); $9.99 (Paperback)


Eric Madeen (Gabon 1981-83)

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.




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  • With a huge thank you to John Coyne for posting my books here among other Peace Corps writers who I look forward to reading. The Amazon reviews have been streaming in 95 percent 5 Stars and I couldn’t resist posting a few below of my first novel Water Drumming in the Soul, inspired by my experience in Peace Corps Gabon 1981-83 in the Rural School Construction Program. These reviews and this site helped make all the years, headaches and hangovers that went into transcribing my work well worth it. Warmest regards to all of you, Eric Madeen; Yokohama, Japan P.S. My email address and URL are below and I’d love to jam with you.

    Top reviews from the United States:
    5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and surprising
    Water Drumming in the Soul : A Novel of Racy Love in the Heart of Africa is a book I won’t soon forget, which is the highest compliment I can pay an author. Eric Madeen’s richly developed characters and superbly built world drew me in and didn’t let me go. I could especially feel David’s dedication, frustration, and pain, and while, by the time I reached Part 2, I thought I was going to end up disliking Assam, the story was woven so beautifully and realistically that I was even able to ‘get’ her. I wasn’t, however, bargaining for needing quite so many tissues! That’s a good thing, too, though. In my opinion, this novel is on par with works by whom we consider masters…Hemingway definitely comes to mind. A hearty five stars and so very highly recommended!

    5.0 out of 5 stars If you love love stories then this one is for you
    Yes, if you love love stories then this book is most certainly for you. Set in Africa and with the Peace Corps the setting is made and the characters are introduced. I like the way that this is done and there are many aspects that show good writing skills here.
    The book/storey flows well and for me, I was immediately interested after a few pages.
    The plot is good and so are the characters and as I say the scene-setting is very good. The complications between cultures are handled nicely and the story of love is intriguing.
    The grammar is good and so is the formatting.
    I think that if this is a genre of choice then you could be in for a treat.

    5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful love story in the topical jungle
    I was attracted to the beautiful scenes in this book momentarily. When I read this book, I imagined myself being with David and Assam, watching their love story developing in the romantic African jungle. A book that I would read twice.

    Mark van
    5.0 out of 5 stars Leaves the reader fulfilled.
    One of the best books I’ve read the past twelve months! Water drumming in the soul is a captivating love story between two races. It takes you deep into different cult

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