A Fortune-Teller Told Me by Tiziano Terzani
Earthbound Travels in the Far East

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Synopsis

Warned by a Hong Kong fortune-teller not to risk flying for a whole year, Tiziano Terzani — a vastly experienced Asia correspondent — took what he called “the first step into an unknown world. . . . It turned out to be one of the most extraordinary years I have ever spent: I was marked for death, and instead I was reborn.”

Traveling by foot, boat, bus, car, and train, he visited Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. Geography expanded under his feet. He consulted soothsayers, sorcerers, and shamans and received much advice — some wise, some otherwise — about his future. With time to think, he learned to understand, respect, and fear for older ways of life and beliefs now threatened by the crasser forms of Western modernity. He rediscovered a place he had been reporting on for decades. And it reinvigorated him.

The result is an immensely engaging, insightful, and idiosyncratic journey, filled with unexpected delights and strange encounters. A bestseller and major prizewinner in Italy, A Fortune-Teller Told Me is a powerful warning against the new missionaries of materialism.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Tiziano Terzani

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For thirty years, Tiziano Terzani has lived in Asia, reporting on its wars and revolutions as Far East correspondent of the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel. Born in Florence, he was educated in Europe and the United States. Since 1994 he has made New Delhi his base.
 
Published February 14, 2010 by Crown. 386 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Education & Reference, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Terzani (an Italian correspondent for Der Spiegel and other European publications) opens his account with an odd anecdote: in 1976, a fortune-teller in Hong Kong warned him that under no circumstances should he fly in 1993, “not even once.” Taking the soothsayer at his word, he chose instead to t...

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As an Italian correspondent for a German magazine who works in Asia for his living and has a strong Luddite strain, Terzani offers an idiosyncratic, decidedly non-American point of view—it's this book's great strength, but also a possible liability with the less internationally minded.

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