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Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World



Original Language: English (USA) | 254 pp. | June 2016

2 Seas Represents: Dutch, French and Nordic Rights.

“I loved [it].  Having just finished reading it, I’m bereft. It was a pleasure traveling with you. (Would that everyone was born to a man’s status and freedom!) … I loved watching you persist in your good ways. I loved rooting for you to get out of tight spots, find places to stay, choose guides by their faces, befriend locals, meet their families, and eat with them. Now I know the world much better and you much better. Of the two, this old lady prefers you.” – Letter to Tom Lutz from Annie Dillard 

“Move over Pico Iyer: Tom Lutz has returned to town with an irresistible book of true stories about accidental intimacies in unexpected places. His encounters on the road, described in gorgeous prose, are brief but intense. Lighting out for the territories has never seemed so enthralling.”
—Jon Wiener

“Highly intelligent, stimulatingly eclectic, and impressively learned.” Salon (on Lutz’s Doing Nothing)

“In these provocative and personal travel essays, Tom Lutz walks the seam between memory and landscape, finding traces in the physical that illuminate the inner life. Smart, pointed, funny, and surprising, Lutz’s journeys reveal both the writer and the world he navigates, offering not epiphany so much as engagement, which is, of course, the only thing that counts.” —David L. Ulin


“I am inordinately proud of my travels and at the same time embarrassed by my pride in them. I feel alternately overflowing and empty, replete with gratitude for my good fortune, and abashed at the overentitled, obsessive nature of my need to continue. I feel sometimes like the most interesting man in the world, sometimes like the most obtuse. I am driven onward and yet, even as I chart my next adventure, I remain unsure why I should want to, unclear why I need to.
And I do need to. The road beckons me, and always has. But am I running toward something? Running away? Is there a difference?” —from the foreword

Tom Lutz is addicted to journeying. Sometimes he stops at the end of the road, sometimes he travels further. In this richly packed portmanteau of traveler’s tales, we accompany him as he drives beyond the blacktop in Morocco, to the Saharan dunes on the Algerian border, and east of Ankara into the Hittite ruins of Boğazkale. We ride alongside as he hitches across Uzbekistan and the high mountain passes of Kyrgyzstan into western China. We catch up with him as he traverses the shores of a lake in Malawi, and disappear with him into the disputed areas of the Ukraine and Moldova.

We follow his footsteps through the swamps of Sri Lanka, the wilds of Azerbaijan, the plains of Tibet, the casinos of Tanzania, the peasant hinterlands of Romania and Albania, and the center of Swaziland, where we join him in watching the king pick his next wife. All along the way, we witness his perplexity in trying to understand a compulsion to keep moving, ever onward, to the ends of the earth.