People often ask me why I wrote my novel ‘The Pagoda Tree’. After writing my first book, ‘Last Seen in Lhasa’ about my seven journeys to Tibet, I had that classic second book syndrome – I couldn’t repeat the incredible experiences that lead to that first book, a travel memoir, but I had always been fascinated by India, where I used to live and work as a journalist. Then I read a story in ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ about the ‘last courtesan’ of India. I was intrigued and decided to research more - for four more years, actually! Here I am in India on a research trip.
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