‘High’ by Erika Fatland

Anna Fleming at The Guardian:

A magnet for explorers, climbers and seekers of enlightenment, the Himalayas have drawn swathes of travellers over the years. The resulting outpouring of stories can leave one wondering quite what more there is to say.

But at the outset of this extended travel narrative, Norwegian anthropologist Erika Fatland, whose previous books include Sovietistan, distinguishes herself from the stereotypes. She is not a “spiritual tourist” on a mystical journey, she explains, nor is she a climber, or a star travel writer looking to stamp her identity over people and places. The “holy grail” Fatland pursues in the opening pages is a visa, and this quest sets the tone for what is a modern and unromantic approach to her subject. A series of thoughtful chapters lead us on a trail through Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, China and Tibet.

more here.