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)
In the sequel to Postcards from Stanland, I traverse the Indian Ocean—from Madagascar through India and Bangladesh to Indonesia.
It’s an unpredictable journey on battered buses, bush taxis, auto-rickshaws and crowded ferries. From the traffic snarls of Delhi, Dhaka and Jakarta to the rice paddies and ancestral tombs of Madagascar’s Central Highlands. From the ancient kingdom of Hyderabad to India’s so-called chicken neck—the ethnically diverse and under-developed northeast. From the textile factories and rivers of Bangladesh to the beaches of Bali and the province of Aceh—ground zero for the 2004 tsunami.
Along the way, in markets, shops, roadside cafes and classrooms, I meet journalists, professors, students, aid workers, cab drivers, and slum-dwellers to learn how they view their past and future.
Monsoon Postcards offers offbeat, witty and insightful glimpses into four countries linked by history, trade, migration, religion and a colonial legacy. It explores how they confront climate change, urban growth, conflicts over land, water and natural resources, and national and ethnic identity.
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.
Donald Thompson in Russia
In January 1917, American photographer Donald Thompson, who had filmed on every front in Europe during World War I, left for Russia, accompanied by Florence Harper, a staff correspondent of Leslie's Weekly. Thompson was in Petrograd for six months, covering demonstrations and street-fighting and the struggle for power between the Provisional Government and the Bolsheviks. His letters to his wife Dorothy in Topeka, Kansas, were published in 1918 with the title, Donald Thompson in Russia. I have added an introduction and extensive notes to the republished edition.
Americans in Revolutionary Russia, editors Norman E. Saul and William B. Whisenhunt (Slavica Publishers, Indiana University)
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.