A Mapmaker's Dream

A Mapmaker's Dream

By James Cowan

Paperback / softback | ISBN 9780091834999

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This is a compelling work of historical re-creation, philosophical intrigue and spiritual enquiry. A sixteenth century monk struggles to create a complete and perfect map of the world. In sixteenth century Venice, in an island monastery, a cloistered monk experiences the adventure of a lifetime - all within the confines of his cell. Part historical fiction, part philosophical mystery, "A Mapmaker's Dream" tells the story of Fra Mauro and his struggle to realise his life's work: to make a perfect map - one that represents the full breadth of Creation. News of Mauro's project attracts explorers, pilgrims, travellers and merchants, all eager to contribute their accounts of faraway people and places. As he listens to the tales of the strange and fantastic things they've seen, Mauro comes to regard the world as much more than just continents and kingdoms: that it is also made up of a vast and equally real interior landscape of beliefs, aspirations and dreams. Mauro's map grows and takes shape, becoming both more complete and more incomprehensible.
In the process, the boundaries of Mauro's world are pushed to the extreme, raising questions about the relationship between representation, imagination, and the nature of reality itself. James Cowan is the author of numerous internationally acclaimed books on a wide variety of subjects, including "Messenger of the Gods" and "Letters from a Wild State: Rediscovering Our True Relationship to Nature". He lives in Western Australia, where he directs a major arts program aimed at increasing the awareness of Aboriginal art throughout the world. "A Mapmaker's Dream" is Umberto Eco meets New Age consciousness. Like "The Name of the Rose", Fouccault's Pendulum and especially "The Island of the Day Before", "A Mapmaker's Dream" is written in the same questioning and mysterious tone, with the voice of Fra Mauro constantly weaving together not only a map of the world, but a map of consciousness and perception as well - creating historical travelling tales of the spirit and soul. "A Mapmaker's Dream" is both an intriguing and unusual book - this crossover will capture everyone who enjoy spirituality books, but with insight into the history of exploration in the sixteenth century.
James Cowan's books do very well in the USA, especially his "Messenger of the Gods". He's Australian and lives in Australia, and we're very proud to have him on our list. "A Mapmaker's Dream" is being published by Shambhala in the USA this October. Touted as the next Celestine Prophesy, "A Mapmaker's Dream" has been the subject of a huge bidding war over international rights. German, Japanese, Italian and French publishers have all fought and bought rights to publish: it's stirring up huge international interest. We are releasing this title as a Vintage paperback - the cover you have to sell from is the Shambhala hardcover jacket. We'll be using the very beautiful painting and map on the front - it will very similar. 'Full of startling leaps of imagination and thought, this small gem of a book proves that the mind's desire can be seaworthy a vessel as a schooner exploring new world's'. - "US Publishers Weekly". 'An unquestionably brilliant contemplation of maps, both esoteric and exoteric, that propels the literary traveller into a series of philosophical and meditative twists and turns that never fail to astonish and provoke.'
- Rudlolph Wurlitzer, author of "Hard to Travel to Sacred Places". 'To read this multilayered journey around the world and across time is to fall headlong into the emotional tumult of an antique map - one with sea serpents devouring ships and fair winds blowing out of cherubs' mouths. James Cowan tells the farthest-flung adventure story through the eyes of a monk who never leaves his cell.


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Format: Paperback / softback
ISBN: 9780091834999
Publish/Release date:
Publisher: Random House Australia
Number of pages: 15
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