Synopses & Reviews
Karen Coates carries the skill of a trained journalist and the language of a poet when she travels. The people she sees are people whose stories she learns and tells with a precision and sensitivity that makes them fully-fleshed individuals, illuminating their landscapes with their presence. >From an American doctor working beyond his limits in East Timor, to a group of Burmese journalists in exile using their slender resources to make a newspaper, to an Australian woman baking cakes in a Thai jungle, the voices are clear and the stories unforgettable as men and women open their lives to a gifted stranger.
Whether youve been to the places Karen Coates takes you to in This Way More Better, or whether you only dream of going there, you will see these countries in a way that few visitors do, through the lives and stories of those who live in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and beyond.
“Books often offer a vacation from life. I hope, instead, this book takes you traveling,” Karen says in her introduction. Not only does this book take us traveling; it gives us stories told by people who become our friends, in countries that become our no longer distant neighbors. Illustrated by the photographs of Jerry Redfern, Karens travel companion and husband, This Way More Better provides a unique view of “Asias back roads.”
A journalist with the eye of a poet travels Asia collecting stories. The people she meets are unforgettable as their lives are unfolded by a writer who follows in the footsteps of Martha Gellhorn and Emily Hahn. This book is the best kind of travel literature, the kind that will expand the journeys of everyone who reads it.
A collection of essays written through years of Asian travels by a woman who has lived there and explored its distant corners for years, this book brings to life the people who usually are seen only in photographs. Here are their stories.
About the Author
Karen Coates says “Ive been hooked on Asia ever since I spent a semester of graduate school in Hanoi more than a dozen years ago. Somehow I managed to wheedle my husband, photojournalist Jerry Redfern, into a life on the move. I took a newspaper job in Phnom Penh in 1998, shortly after we married, and weve been tromping through jungles and rice paddies ever since. Im the Southeast Asia correspondent for Archaeology and I write a Food Culture column for The Faster Times. My work appears in publications around the world such as GlobalPost, Wall Street Journal Asia, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, National Geographic Books, Fodors Travel Guides, DAYS Japan, GEO Spain, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and many others.” Photographer biography: Jerry Redfern began his career as a staff photographer at newspapers in the American West, at a time when papers still had darkrooms and photographers still processed their own film. In 1998, he and his wife, Karen Coates, moved to Cambodia where Redfern shot news, features and investigative stories for Agence France-Presse, The New York Times, The Cambodia Daily and other publications. Redferns work has won awards from numerous journalism and art organizations, including the Fund for Investigative Journalism, Center - Review Santa Fe, and the National Press Photographers Association. Redferns images appear in publications around the world, includingThe New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Archaeology, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, GEO, Sierra, National Geographic Books, and many others.
Table of Contents
Table of contents:
A Note on Tone and Tempo
1. Shus Story - 1999
2. This Way More Better - 1999
3. The Plain of Jars - 1998, 2005, 2010
4. Getting to Sophoon - 2010
5. Picturing Cambodia - 1998, 1999, 2001
6. Running on Empty - 2003
7. Oms Love - 1998, 1999
8. Baking Bread, Making a Living - 2010
9. The Dancer King - 2004
10. The Splendors and Smells of Bangkok - 2004
11. An Oven in the Jungle - 2005
12. A Little Sip of Yunnan in Northern Thailand - 2008, 2010
13. Eating My Way through Krabi - 2009
14. After the Waves - 2005
15. Conversations with Exiles - 2003
16. Shan State Diary - 2002
17. Inbox - 2009
18. Sisters on the Sea - 2002
19. Dr. Dan - 2002
20. Timors Caves of Liberation - 2002
21. DiliDiliDiliDiliDiliDiliDili - 2002
22. And We Eat Pig - 2006
23. The Cradle of Wildlife - 2004
24. Journeys on a Tea Train - 2004
25. The Sea Before - 2004
26. Tibetan Diary - 2000
27. Stuck in Kolkata - 2007
28. Finding Shu - 2010