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Daredevil Twilight

by Virginia Barton Brownback


Fifteen essays reflecting on two decades of far-flung travel. A distinctly senior voice, making connections and mistakes with strangers in unlikely corners. A mix of both agony and ecstasy, paddling up the Jehlum and down the Mekong, trekking in the Ukraine and Nepal, jeep-swinging through the Northwest Frontier, Pakistan, marooned in the Gulf of Tonkin, and dauntlessly embracing, everywhere, the life-giving jolts of culture shock.

“I longed to be more at home in the world. That's all I had in mind in 1978, when I started out, late — at 53. But over time, metamorphosis — uninvited, unexpected — crept into my backpack.” — Virginia Barton Brownback

“Daredevil Twilight pays tribute to the power of mature women to leave the boundaries of their homes and family, recreate themselves, push their limits, and find fulfillment through imaginative travel. She will inspire other women to put their fears on hold and just go! . . . What beautiful prose!” — Marybeth Bond, Travel Expert, Author/Editor, A Woman’s World, Gutsy Women

“For twenty years or more I have watched Ginny Brownback leave and return from her ‘compulsive explorations’ of the forbidding corners of the planet. ‘Who are you going with?’ I would ask, in paternalistic horror at the idea of an ‘older woman’ traveling alone to Laos, Kashmir, the Outer Hebrides, and the Hindu Kush. ‘No one,’ she'd answer. ‘Going alone,’ a mix of pride and apprehension in her voice as she sped off. I now know that she was rarely alone. Here is the fine and challenging art of setting out to a place unknown and returning home with a blaze of wild memories, a deeper sense of how other worlds work, and a collection that will enchant the erstwhile traveler for decades to come.” — Mark Dowie, investigative historian


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Eye to eye on a stairway, Ladakh.

Nepal: near Jharkot, peaks
of Mustang in the far distance.

Woman at bus stop, Pakistan



Read an excerpt from Daredevil Twilight


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