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Bookshop hosts launch event for Norfolk travel writer’s latest tale

PUBLISHED: 11:52 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:09 17 July 2017

The Book Hive, Norwich, which hosted the event on Thursday, July 13. Photo: Antony Kelly

The Book Hive, Norwich, which hosted the event on Thursday, July 13. Photo: Antony Kelly

Archant Norfolk 2017

India is a traveller’s paradise: filled with exotic sights and sounds, and a wealth of colours and flavours to satisfy all but the most discerning adventurer.

Originally from Wickmere, Norfolk, Antonia has penned three travel books so far as well as working in TV production. Photo: Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent Originally from Wickmere, Norfolk, Antonia has penned three travel books so far as well as working in TV production. Photo: Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

But simmering curries, intricate temples, and noisy, bustling streets aside, India is also home to one of the world’s most untouched regions: Arunachal Pradesh, ‘The land of the dawn-lit mountains’.

And it is this barely-mapped, “hidden land” that is the setting for Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent’s latest travel book.

Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains: A Journey across Arunachal Pradesh, was launched in Norwich’s The Book Hive on Thursday evening.

After growing up in Wickmere, Norfolk, Miss Bolingbroke-Kent went on to work in TV production.

Author Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent, with actress Joanna Lumley at the book's launch in London. Photo: Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent Author Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent, with actress Joanna Lumley at the book's launch in London. Photo: Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

But her real adventure began with the events that led to her first book, Tuk-Tuk to the Road; the story of her journey from Bangkok to Brighton in a bright pink, three-wheeled Thai taxi.

The project began as a way for Antonia and her friend Jo to raise £50,000 for mental health charity, Mind, and culminated in their best-selling book, published in 2007.

However, the experience gave the budding explorer and writer a taste for the road, and she wasn’t about to stop there. Her next venture into travel writing, A Short Ride in the Jungle: The Ho Chi Minh Trail by Motorcycle, was published in 2014, and details the two-month trip the “veteran of ridiculous adventures in unfeasible vehicles” took around the jungles of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

Miss Bolingbroke-Kent’s most recent travel epic covers her time spent in the north-eastern corner of India. Arunachal Pradesh clings to the mountains in the far-east of the country, and the region is, even now, largely unmapped.

The explorer and travel writer with lawyer David Sears QC at the London launch. Photo: Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent The explorer and travel writer with lawyer David Sears QC at the London launch. Photo: Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

Setting out to chronicle this forgotten corner of Asia, she travelled some 2,000 miles. The book records her encounters with shamans, lamas, hunters, and opium farmers; visits to tribal festivals; and experiences listening to long-forgotten stories from the Second World War. It reveals her discovery of a world and a way of living on the cusp of changing forever.

The Book Hive, in Norwich, hosted the launch event, on Thursday, July 13.

Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains is published in paperback by Simon & Schuster UK. It retails at £9.99.

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