For centuries Western travelers have felt the pull of exotic places. Tibet has always held a special fascination. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, is the Western romance with Tibet grounded in reality, or based on some notion of Shangri-La? Also a look at Bruce Chatwin, the man who shaped modern travel writing.
Rob Nixon grew up near the ostrich farms of South Africa. He tells Steve Paulson about the 19th century fashion craze for ostrich plumes and the fortunes it created. And he remembers playing chicken with obstreperous ostriches with twenty two inch talons! Nixon's book about ostriches and the ostrich trade in "Dream Birds."SEGMENT 2:
Orville Schell, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley and author of "Virtual Tibet," tells Jim Fleming that Westerners have always romanticized Tibet. He's observed it for years and concedes that even under Chinese domination, Tibet remains a unique and entrancing place. Also, Ani Pachen is a Tibetan nun who became a warrior after the Chinese invaded. With Adelaide Donnelley, she's written her story in a book called "Sorrow Mountain: The Journey of a Tibetan Warrior Nun." The authors (with the assistance of a translator) tell Judith Strasser about the Chinese occupation and Tibetan resistance to it.SEGMENT 3:
Nicholas Shakespeare has written a biography of legendary travel writer Bruce Chatwin. Shakespeare tells Steve Paulson that Chatwin was a man of mystery and paradox who was willing to toy with the strictly factual to preserve an emotional truth. We also hear travel writer Paul Theroux comment on Chatwin, a long-time friend.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 00-07-09-B.
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