Across the vast steppe and mountain ranges, to fabled Silk Road cities, the Soviet rust belt and the futuristic architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital, my offbeat memoir takes you to a remote, diverse and strategically vital region--the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. That jumble of countries whose names end in -stan: Stanland.
You'll meet teachers, students, politicians, entrepreneurs, journalists, cab-drivers and market sellers to learn about their history, culture and struggle to survive in the post-Soviet era. You'll enjoy the stories and landscapes, but be happy you skipped the dangerous flights and bad hotels.
“The ideal author to demystify the region and its people.” Library Journal.
“A genial travel guide … an academic who doesn’t write like an academic." Kirkus Reviews.
"Postcards from Stanland is strongest when it discusses the subtleties of national and ethnic identity, the lingering and often still strong political, cultural and personal relationship with Russia, and the way the past affects the present." The Asian Review of Books.
"With its rich depiction of life in Central Asia and authoritative yet accessible style, Postcards deserves a wide audience, from high school students to secretaries of state." Eurasianet.
"Part memoir, part tour guide, part commentary, it is a casual, hybrid book ... Its stylistic flexibility is a strength, allowing Mould to provide snapshots of ordinary life and bite-sized accounts of unusual encounters. His excitement and thrill in discovering a land about which so little is known, where geographical, cultural and even religious worlds collide, is evident." New Eastern Europe.
Read and hear excerpts at Travel Blogs from Asia and Africa and on
What inspired me to write the book? See The Writing of Postcards from Stanland
Monsoon Postcards: INDIAN OCEAN JOURNEYS (2019)
My second book describes an arc around the Indian Ocean with insights into the history, geography, politics, economy, climate and belief systems of five countries where I’ve traveled and worked over the last decade.
My story begins in Madagascar's capital, Antananarivo, which I describe as "Paris with rice paddies," then moves to the Central Highlands, the heartland of the Merina people who still practice famadihana, the ritual re-interment of their ancestors. I hang out with lemurs in the jungle and take a bumpy two-day overland trip across mountains, savanna grasslands and desert to the southwest. From Madagascar, I head across the Mozambique Channel and up the Zambezi River to Malawi, a country linked to the Indian Ocean by exploration, slavery and trade. Then across the Arabian Sea to the Indian sub-continent. India defies generalizations because of its social, ethnic and religious diversity. My narrative begins in the capital Delhi, then broadens out in space and time, exploring the colonial legacy, the partition of British India, and the country’s demographic, economic and environmental challenges. From the north, I move to the ancient kingdom of Hyderabad, and finally to the under-developed “chicken-neck,” India’s Appalachia, the northeastern states of Assam and Meghalaya. Then I follow the Brahmaputra River south to Bangladesh, a country defined by its bitter struggle for independence. From the chaotic traffic and garment factories of Dhaka, I travel to the rice bowl and commercial centers of western Bangladesh, to the tea gardens of the northeast and to the delta region—the front line for climate change. My journey ends in Indonesia—at Banda Aceh, ground zero for the 2004 tsunami, the noise and traffic of the capital, Jakarta, ancient Yogyakarta, and the beaches and back country of Bali.
From the Ohio University Press (2019). Read about my travels in Madagascar on Travel Blogs from Asia and Africa.
Times Higher Education:
Social science research in Madagascar--It's a jungle
David Mould had to navigate cartoon lemurs and other barriers in order to help local academics study factors hindering development. Times Higher Education, June 30, 2016.
An academic volume, co-edited with Yusuf Kalyango, Director of Ohio University’s Institute for International Journalism, was published by Palgrave/Macmillan in December 2014. The contributors examine media systems in 16 countries, including China, Russia and the US.
"[H]ow traditional journalism is practiced in a new media environment where both separately or jointly perform their due function has become an intriguing issue in recent years. This is a vital issue in countries, such as Armenia, El Salvador, Guyana, Kyrgyzstan, Suriname, and Yemen, which are not conventionally or frequently seen in our field's literature." Gang Han, Journalism & Mass Communication Educator.
"Global Journalism Practice ... demonstrates that global journalism is more than just a buzzword. Instead it is about ... how journalists and journalism/media educators view journalism practice in their own countries as well as its interaction with new media technologies and socio-political and economic situations." Sara Namusoga, African Journalism Studies.
Read the back story in "Cast Adrift: Adventures in Academic Editing" in Times Higher Education.