Ian Frazier will be signing and reading from his latest book, Travels in Siberia, on Thacker Mountain Radio.
Here's a review from Dear Reader:
Frazier, author of Great Plains, On the Rez, and other widely appreciated non-fiction books and many New Yorker pieces (one of my favorites was the study of plastic bags caught in Manhattan trees) has written a wonderful travelogue chronicling two treks through one of the world’s most infamous, gargantuan, and weird terrains, and we can go with, even while sitting in our comfortably climate controlled living rooms. We won’t be taking the comfy Trans-Siberian railroad, though, but instead, a hooptie van, and we’ll be camping out in the vast taiga, home to tigers, wolves, and the unhappy ghosts of millions of people unfortunate enough to be exiled there, or slaughtered by Genghis Khan or Stalin. Our guides are Sergei and Volodya, who screw things up nearly as often as they facilitate them. Frazier is a brilliant observer of the landscape, the people, the system, and a well-informed interpreter of the history of Siberia, whether he’s pondering the discarded blister pack at his feet, the Decembrists, the glass beach at Vladivostok, sable fur, or ice roads where traffic proceeds for miles on frozen rivers. In his casual and personal style, Frazier rambles on, eventually pulling all his anecdotes and factoids and literary asides together to complete a fascinating, dynamic tableau of the evolution of Siberia from a wilderness crossed only by nomadic hordes to a kingdom of exile to a land of decrepit industry with enormously rich natural resources, to what? The world is going to need to know more about Siberia, and this is an excellent place to start. A truly amazing, great book, with meaty endnotes, nice little pen drawings by the author, and a beautiful bibliography. LH