ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
The author with his friend, Baba, on the Plains of Taoudenni, in the Sahara
Michael Benanav is a freelance writer and photographer for The New York Times and other publications. His body of work includes articles and images from places such as Mongolia, Morocco, Mali, China, India, Kashmir, Egypt, Turkey, Ukraine, Guatemala, and Mexico, as well as the United States. He's produced photo essays for Lonelyplanet.com and Hand/Eye about the Maldhari shepherds of India's Gujarat state; was one of the few Western journalists in 2008 to write from behind the lines during the Chinese military crackdown on the country's ethnically Tibetan regions following the Lhasa riots; and was part of a team of two who became the first American travelers in over sixty years to visit Kashmir's legendary and long-forbidden Gurez Valley. He has won the Southwest Writers Workshop prize for Best Travel Essay, and is a former contributing editor to The Salt Journal. Benanav's second book, Joshua & Isadora: A True Tale of Loss and Love in the Holocaust, was published in 2008, and recounts the dramatic stories of his grandparents' experiences in and escape from Eastern Europe during World War II. An experienced wilderness instructor, he has led groups on educational and therapeutic adventures through the mountains, deserts, and river corridors of the American West. He lives along the Rio Embudo in northern New Mexico.