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Among Flowers : A Walk in the Himalaya by…

Among Flowers : A Walk in the Himalaya

by Jamaica Kincaid

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I had kept this book for a good moment to savour reading it, and was then sourly disappointed. Among flowers. A walk in the Himalaya by Jamaica Kincaid was a very disappointing read. Fifty pages into the book, I leafed back to the Contents page to check whether I was still somehow reading an introduction, but discovered that there was no introduction. The loosely structured, plebeian style was what confused me. I was quite ready for a travelogue, expecting beautiful descriptions of landscapes in northern Nepal, and a lot about botany. Kincaid is known for her love of gardening, and the book is a report of a seed collecting expedition in Nepal. I was appalled by Kincaid’s constant complaining about the trip, focusing almost completely on herself and her (physical) discomforts as in I couldn’t fall asleep and so I went of our tent, just outside the entrance, and took a long piss. This was a violation of some kind: you cannot take a long piss just outside your tent; you are not to make your traveling companions aware of the actual workings of your body. (p.91) Instead of observations of the local populations, as one might expect in the tradition of National Geographic, the publisher who commissioned the book, Kincaid is stuck is the most incredibly amateurish and immature babble, secretly giving one of the porters, a Sherpa boy who looks like the people from Tibet, maybe only as old as her son, a one-thousand-rupee note (p.108). The photos included in the book are of the same low quality, mainly depicting the author or showing the most ordinary, sentimental pictures. ( )
1 vote edwinbcn | Feb 2, 2012 |
If you love gardening, read this book. This talks about selecting flowers for your garden, from the source itself. Great read during post gardening season. ( )
  seki | May 2, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0792265300, Hardcover)

In this delightful hybrid of a book—part memoir and part travel journal—the bestselling author takes us deep into the mountains of Nepal with a trio of botanist friends in search of native Himalayan plants that will grow in her Vermont garden. Alighting from a plane in the dramatic Annapurna Valley, the ominous signs of Nepal's Maoist guerrillas are all around—an alarming presence that accompanies the travelers throughout their trek. Undaunted, the group sets off into the mountains with Sherpas and bearers, entering an exotic world of spectacular landscapes, vertiginous slopes, isolated villages, herds of yaks, and giant rhododendron, thirty feet tall. The landscape and flora and so much else of what Kincaid finds in the Himalaya—including fruit bats, colorful Buddhist prayer flags, and the hated leeches that plague much of the trip—are new to her, and she approaches it all with an acute sense of wonder and a deft eye for detail. In beautiful, introspective prose, Kincaid intertwines the harrowing Maoist encounters with exciting botanical discoveries, fascinating daily details, and lyrical musings on gardens, nature, home, and family.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:37 -0400)

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A combination memoir and travel journal details an adventure through the mountains of Nepal in search of native flowers and plants that could grow in Vermont.

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