Exploring his life-long fascination with the Silk Road, Daniel Metcalfe travels alone through remote regions of Central Asia in search of some of its lost peoples.
Daniel Metcalfe journeys through the five 'stans, as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan, and brings to life the brilliant human tapestry they comprise - uniquely shaped by the immigrants, deportees and conquerors that have settled there. Revealing a Central Asia that is far removed from the home of Borat or the land of international terrorism, Metcalfe unlocks the secrets of this troubled region, glorying in its diversity and also lamenting the economic and cultural changes that threaten to eradicate some of its peoples...
“This book's idea is timely: a quest for six ethnic communities that, after surviving the depredations of Sovietism, are now, as Central Asia modernises, disappearing ... [Metcalfe's] book has many virtues, the greatest of which are courage and a keen eye for detail, plus an ability to convey the essence of a place through the briefest of anecdotes”
“This is a book of great warmth and immense scholarship, in the best tradition of travel writing. It opens up a region about which most of us are vague. It is fascinating reading”
“Daniel Metcalfe journeys through the five 'stans, as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan, and brings to life the human tapestry they comprise”
“This is an important book: a first-hand account from an adventurous traveller who has dared to explore the fulcrum of Asian geopolitics. Read this and you will understand why we need to care about Central Asia. Metcalfe has reminded us of why travel-writing matters”
Nicholas Crane, author of Clear Waters Rising
“Enterprising and finely written ... Metcalfe can justly be compared with British adventurers such as Robert Byron”
“Fresh, witty and full of quirky detail ... the book is also a serious, sometimes moving account of environmental degradation, political repression and social isolation”
“Full of telling anecdotes and snappy metaphors, Out of Steppe is a humane portrait of a region with a complex past and an uncertain future”
“Metcalfe writes with sensitivity and great flair ... I was totally absorbed”