29 November 2010

"Eat Pray Love" and "Global Nomads"

The best-seller travelogue by Elizabeth Gilbert has a book precursor (actually many precursors), such as “Global Nomads” by Anthony D'Andrea (Routledge 2007). Both cover the same topic: educated and successful professionals who are existentially unhappy and decide to “drop out” (at least temporarily), traveling globally and experimenting in search of one’s own self.

In fact, there has been a spike in sales of “Global Nomads”, which can be explained by a few factors: a) the start of academic year in the U.S. and Europe (with the book being included in classroom reading lists), b) the gradual popularization of the book (as academic titles may take a few years to take off), and c) as an effect of  “Eat Pray Love” phenomenon played by Julia Roberts.

If you like “Eat Pray Love”, you will probably enjoy “Global Nomads”. As main differences, “Global Nomads” addresses a more marginal countercultural experience of lifestyle migration, connected to Gilbert’s story but more radical at times, as it depicts New Age spiritual practices and Techno rave experimentalism across Spain and India. A more sociological take on disaffected expatriates is another differential of “Global Nomads”, as this book is based on a PhD thesis in Anthropology at the University of Chicago, published by premier publisher Routledge in their premium series: International Library of Sociology (founded by Karl Manheim, currently directed by John Urry).

There are many travelogues out there, in erudite and pop versions, usually written by expatriates who decide to reminisce over their travel or diasporic experiences. There is also a growing literature analyzing such travelogues from a more academic perspective, including topics such as imperial travel, lifestyle migration, global trekking, global wellness resorts, etc. But “Global Nomads” is well connected with “Eat Pray Love” for they share a contemporary concern with modern dilemmas of a troubled, affluent individualism.

"Global Nomads" can be found at Amazon, Routledge, or any other good online book store, in affordable paperback, durable hardback, or in digital edition for Kindle/Ipad e-readers. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. amazed that eat pray love doesn't mention your study. congrats tho, you are now a global phenomenon.