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This “exuberant travel and cultural anthology” by the National Book Award–winning author “brings each setting to life with a perceptive eye” (Booklist, starred review). Best known for his sweeping political novels, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, Bob Shacochis began his career as a journalist and contributing editor for Outside magazine and Harper’s. Kingdoms in the Air brings together the very best of Shacochis’s culture and travel essays in a collection that spans his global adventures and passions; from Kathmandu to Mozambique, from his love of surfing to his obsession with the South American dorado. In the titular essay “Kingdoms,” the longest work in the collection, Shacochis ventures to Nepal with his friend, the photographer Thomas Laird, who was the first foreigner to live in Nepal’s Kingdom of Mustang as the forbidden Shangri-La prepared to open its borders to trekkers and trade. Replete with Shacochis’s swagger, humor, and wisdom, Kingdoms in the Air is an essential collection of travel writing by an author who “has extended his knowledge and imagination into places most of us have never ventured” (Washington Post).