Polly Evans studied modern languages at Cambridge University, where she learned a little about Spanish and a little more about men. The hours of hard research she poured into these two subjects, plus a four-year stint at Hong Kong's largest weekly magazine, inspired her first three books, including Fried Eggs with Chopsticks and Kiwis Might Fly, both forthcoming from Dell. Polly now lives in London, where she is at work on the tale of her attempts to learn to ride in horse-mad Argentina.
Bicycle enthusiasts rejoice! Here are two books demonstrating what committed, energetic, and youthful bicyclists can accomplish with ample time and the wherewithal to brave inclement weather, uncomfortable sleeping conditions, bad food, and a lot of pain. Freelance writer and photographer Stamboulis and former book editor Evans take very different approaches to their experiences. Stamboulis, who traveled seven years to complete a 40,000-mile journey around the world-much of it on his bicycle-here focuses seriously on the clashes between traditional and modern culture, particularly on the ways modernization has damaged the environment in sensitive areas such as Tibet and central Asia. He takes his time, lives in various countries, and grows to know the local population well enough to give us thoughtful and well-informed insights about how developed and underdeveloped countries are changing in the Far East, central Asia, Europe, and the United States. Evans, by contrast, has a more lighthearted and irreverent approach to her bicycle adventure, which takes her through Spain in a matter of months. She spices the account of her agony with amusing tidbits from Spanish history, culture, and cuisine. It's hard not to admire her nerve and gutsy spirit-not too many women would travel on a bike alone through Spain, even today! And in her most desperate moments, her love for the country and its culture still shines through. Both books are recommended for larger travel collections in public and academic libraries.-Olga B. Wise, Austin, TX Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"Fast-paced but reflective."-People Magazine
"Cheeky.... I'd never let Evans plan a trip for me, but I found myself more than willing to go along for the ride. ... Evans' derisive wit ... is in the best British tradition of xenophobic sarcasm, parliamentary put-downs and Monty Python moments."-The Literate Traveler in San Francisco Chronicle