By Tom Bissell

In 1996, Tom Bissell went to Uzbekistan as a naive Peace Corps volunteer. notwithstanding he lasted just a couple of months earlier than affliction and private drawback compelled him domestic, Bissell chanced on himself entranced via this distant land. 5 years later he again to discover the shrinking Aral Sea, destroyed through Soviet irrigation guidelines. becoming a member of up with an exuberant translator named Rustam, Bissell slips greater than as soon as throughout the clutches of the Uzbek police as he makes his usually wild technique to the devastated sea.

In Chasing the Sea, Bissell combines the tale of his travels with a beguiling chronicle of Uzbekistan's extraordinary tradition and lengthy historical past of violent subjugation via despots from Jenghiz Khan to Joseph Stalin. Alternately fun and sobering, this can be a gripping portrait of a desirable position, and the debut of a singularly talented younger author.

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Extra resources for Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia

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QUEEN KRISTINA Queen Kristina (1626–89) lived an eccentric and eventful life. Her father, Gustav II, instructed that the girl be brought up as though she were a prince, then promptly went off and died in battle, leaving his six-year-old successor and his country in the hands of the powerful Chancellor Oxenstierna. Kristina did indeed receive a boy’s education, becoming fluent in six languages and skilled in the art of war. Childish spats with Oxenstierna increased as she grew older; after being crowned queen in 1644, she delighted in testing her power, defying him even when he had the country’s best interests at heart.

After long feuds with his younger brothers, he tricked them into coming to Nyköping castle Click here, where he threw them into the dungeon and starved them to death. After this fratricidal act, the nobility drove Birger into exile. They then chose their own king of Sweden, the infant grandson of King Haakon V of Norway. When Haakon died without leaving a male heir, the kingdoms of Norway and Sweden were united (1319). The increasingly wealthy church began to show its might in the 13th and 14th centuries, commissioning monumental buildings such as the domkyrka (cathedral) in Linköping (founded 1250; Click here), and Scandinavia’s largest Gothic cathedral in Uppsala (founded 1285; Click here).

To start there’s the vast Laponia area in the north, an entire journey’s worth of territory on its own. Working your way down, there’s Gammelstad church village in Luleå. Höga Kusten (High Coast; ) decorates the coastline from Härnosand to Örnsköldsvik. In Falun there’s the Falu Kopparbergsgruva, and the nearby picnic-friendly Engelsberg Bruk. In the suburbs of Stockholm you’ll find the royal palace and grounds of Drottningholm, plus the unlikely beauty of the Skogskyrkogården cemetery. Also near the capital is the ancient Viking settlement of Birka.

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Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia by Tom Bissell


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