Turkestan Reunion

Eleanor Holgate Lattimore, Author, Eleanor Frances Lattimore, Illustrator Kodansha America $14 (323p) ISBN 978-1-56836-053-9
Orientalist Lattimore and his wife spent the six early months of their married life apart. They had planned a honeymoon in Chinese Turkestan, but they would reach it by different routes: Owen by caravans across Mongolia (a trip outlined in The Desert Road to Turkestan); Eleanor by the Trans-Siberian Railway, followed by a lengthy, unanticipated midwinter sledge ride from Semipalatinsk to Chuguchak. But it is the trip through present-day Xinjiang (Sinkiang), then bordered by Mongolia, India, Tibet and the U.S.S.R., that primarily concerns these two parallel travelogues. What makes Xinjiang so fascinating is that it is the ultimate frontier. Replete with desert expanses and nearly untraversable mountain passes, in 1927 it was home to petty lordlings, shysters, renegades and mercenaries of every background (including many White Russians). Eleanor's impressionistic epistolary account is by far the more readable of the two. Owen, one of the ""Old China Hands"" who would be excoriated by McCarthy, offers a scholarly account that bears the passage of 70 years less easily. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/1995
Release date: 01/01/1995
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 308 pages - 978-0-404-10636-2
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