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This Way More Better: Stories and Photos from Asia’s Back Roads
Attend the coronation of a Cambodian king, and explore East Timorʼs caves of ancient art. Trek through endangered Borneo forests with tribal hunters searching for pig. This Way More Better: Stories and Photos from Asiaʼs Back Roads takes readers on an armchair adventure spanning 11 countries in a dozen years. Join author Karen Coates, an investigative journalist, as she journeys into the heart of Asia, to tell the stories of people living in some of the most remote—and crowded— places on Earth.
This Way More Better, beautifully photographed by Jerry Redfern, explores the intersections of humanity, history and environment—with copious food and drink to nourish the journey.
From the Cover
“Karen Coates carries the skill of a trained journalist and the language of a poet when she travels. The people she sees are people whose stories she learns and tells with a precision and sensitivity that makes them fully-fleshed individuals, illuminating their landscapes with their presence. From an American doctor working beyond his limits in East Timor, to a group of Burmese journalists in exile using their slender resources to make a newspaper, to an Australian woman baking cakes in a Thai jungle, the voices are clear and the stories unforgettable as men and women open their lives to a gifted stranger.
‘Books often offer a vacation from life. I hope, instead, this book takes you traveling,’ Karen says in her introduction. Not only does this book take us traveling; it gives us stories told by people who become our friends, in countries that become our no longer distant neighbors.”
From Publishers Weekly
“Journalist and blogger (Rambling Spoon) Coates weaves a series of vignettes into an album of unsung heroes. Alongside her husband, award-winning photographer Jerry Redfern, she chronicles travels from East Timor to Kolkata with stops in Cambodia and Thailand. Hmong guides Shu, a schoolgirl, and 22 year-old Duc, lead a trek into the remote villages and forests of Vietnam to research the lumber trade, which has surpassed rice as the main industry for the Hmong people. A log smuggler whose brother died during an ill-fated run, Duc inspired the book’s title with his frequent use of the phrase…. After 11 years she reunites with young Shu, now a mother with a tourist business. Redfern’s lush four-color photographs convey the complexities of this troubled, yet hopeful landscape.”