Today's feature takes us to Nepal with Jay Desind
For approximately 20 seconds In April of 2015, the earth shook under the town of Barpak, Nepal. When it stopped, a wide swathe of destruction and loss of life remained.
Touching the Hem of Heaven, A Memoir of Redemption in Nepal is a photo essay of over 200 original photographs. But this is not about the earthquake.
Rather, it is a memoir that takes place nearly four years before that fateful April day, when Jay Desind, photographer and poet, journeyed to a country he had never been to before to escape his own version of the ground shifting beneath his feet.
This is a story of a writer and photographer who left the United States to escape tragic events. To lose himself in a foreign country. Travel with him as he explores the redemptive power of photographic vision. "I had a faint idea I was broken," Jay says early on in his travels, and through meeting the open and welcoming people of Nepal he left that country "healthier and wiser,” and feeling he had a debt to pay to one of the poorest nations on earth.
Kirkus Reviews says his “extraordinary photographs command attention,’ some of them “stunning” and others “thoughtfully…showing children hard at work but also their bright eyed exuberance” for life. “Desind shows off his talented eye for composition, color, and the telling juxtaposition” of the good and tragic of Nepal.
Jay Desind’s lyrical voice is present throughout this book, a style of writing that has gained him fans for his memoir, Lost in Language, and his many books of photography and poetry. He’s been compared to Marcel Proust, Cormac McCarthy and at times his razor sharp wit and unflinching gaze is reminiscent of Daivd Sedaris and Hunter S. Thompson. “I always want to write from a true place,” Jay says, and Touching the Hem of Heaven shows him at his most vulnerable and ultimately most redemptive.
Touching the Hem of Heaven is a singular work of prose and photography, a must for those who want a glimpse of Nepal before its unfortunate wide ranging destruction, and a mirror into the mind of a poet and photographer who is known for his skillful weaving of both forms into a new art form.
For the entire year of 2015, Jay Desind is donating 100% of the profits of Touching the Hem of Heaven to Nepalese school children in need. Here is your opportunity to experience a very special book and to also contribute to a worthy cause.
Get your copy of Touching the hem of heaven here
Jay Desind was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up in Silicon Valley in California, then spent twenty years in Denver, Colorado. Following a year of life changing events, Jay bought a one way ticket to Singapore in the summer of 2010 and has since discovered over twenty countries on several continents. Pizza and a true love snagged him along the way, and he now calls Venice, Italy home. A writer since high school, Jay found new ways to combine his passion for photographer and the written word into new exciting projects. Lost in Language, his memoir, and Everyday, a 365 Day Odyssey of Photography and the Written Word, are available for order your favorite book store, or on Amazon, along with several photography/Poetry titles.
Thank you Jay, for joining us today.
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