9780375421266 / 0375421262

The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer: Close Encounters with Strangers


3.86 avg rating368 ratings by GoodReads

Publisher:Pantheon, 2004



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About the book:

Eric Hansen is an intrepid traveler with a keenly perceptive eye and an appreciation for the odd and unusual. He will go anywhere and try anything. Through it all he manages to capture the most revealing conversations and the most transporting moments in his travels, from the Maldives to Sacramento, from Cannes to Borneo and far beyond.

Hansen writes about the mind-altering experience of drinking kava in Vanuatu and about heartrending moments working at Mother Teresas Home for the Dying Destitute in Calcutta. He joins a grieving husband searching for his dead wifes wedding ring at a crash site in the Borneo rain forest. He recounts his miraculous survival of Cyclone Tracy on a fishing boat off the north coast of Australia, and he befriends an elderly Russian woman who would prepare catered dinners for George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky in her tiny Manhattan kitchen while drug dealers were shot to death in the downstairs lobby. He spends time with an ornithologist who studies endangered ants and the sex lives of banana slugsand takes topless dancers on bird-watching expeditions.

Each essay is a passionate experience of life refracted through the eyes and voice of a singularly evocative and original writer.

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