Sunday, December 01, 2019

The wait is over! Travels in the Land of Hunger is published!

Travels in the Land of Hunger (artwork by Tiberius Viris)
Finally, after about five to six years of research and writing, my travel memoir, entitled Travels in the Land of Hunger, is now published and available in hardcover (casewrap), paperback, and as an ebook (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Lulu, and soon to be available as an ebook on Google play, iBooks, Kobo, etc.)

I had been picking at this travel memoir since about 2012, but I did not seriously dig into the book until 2014. After I published Dark Legacy: Book I - Trinity in 2011 I started working on Book II of the series and completed about 200 pages, but I decided to go back to my 2004 travel blog and flesh it out into a travel memoir as a sort of deep dive into the historical themes (imperialism, colonialism, capitalism vs. socialism vs. communism, globalization, etc.) that were becoming more and more apparent in my writings of Book II. It took much longer than I had anticipated to complete the travel memoir, but as you will find, it is a heavily researched work (32 pages of endnotes, and a 10-paged index).

I presented/launched the book on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 here in Barcelona, and received tremendous support and warmth in regards to the social issues I highlighted from my 2004 half-year backpacking journey across East and Southeast Asia, Siberia, Central Russia, the Baltic states, the Nordic countries, and Eastern and Western Europe.

2004: A temple of Angkor in Cambodia
I think the back cover of the book accurately sums up the essence of the journey: "Traveling by foot, bus, train, and boat - and seeing the world through the analytical lens of anthropology, archaeology, and economics - Domenico documents, researches, and deciphers the developing nations he encounters as they rise through the turbulence of unregulated Western capitalism and globalization.

"Travels in the Land of Hunger is the author's reflective account of the dark, long-lasting impact of Western colonialism and imperialism, the Vietnam War, the Khmer Rouge regime, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the sex tourism and sex trafficking industries in Southeast and East Asia. It is also a narrative of finding exotic beauty, inspiration, inner strength, and unexpected love."

The travel memoir also includes two of my short stories entitled The Astor House of Old Shanghai (a steampunk story set in Shanghai in 1899) and White Lion Rising (a dystopian story set in Barcelona in the mid 21st century).

I will be posting photos from the journey every day in chronological order on my Instagram account @thelegacycycle. Feel free to follow and match the photos to the events detailed in my memoir.

2004: A temple in Ayutthaya, Thailand
As you will discover, Neil Peart (drummer and lyricist of the progressive rock group RUSH) was a significant inspiration for me during my adolescent years. He was not only a drummer, but a philosopher of sorts, a world traveler, and travel memoir writer. I remember vividly buying and reading his first travel memoir, entitled The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa, while I was attending Boston University and realizing that I could accomplish a similar feat. And now, twenty years later, I have done just that. A copy of my book now stands next to my old copy of Neil's first travel memoir on my book shelf; it brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

2004: The Great Wall of China
This all aside, I am now very much looking forward to getting back to writing Book II of the Dark Legacy series in 2020. Many of you have been so patient in waiting for Book II. My writing efforts are now focused toward working on and completing that second Dark Legacy book. In the mean time, if you are curious of what themes and hardships will Book II contain, check out Travels in the Land of Hunger: A backpacker's earthbound journey from the East to the West.

Chapters from Travels in the Land of Hunger are also available on Wattpad as you can see from the link below.