Long ago Jamaica Kincaid proved herself to be a writer of enormous talent with works such as Annie John, Lucy, My Brother and The Autobiography of My Mother. She tackles the travel memoir with her latest, Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalaya. In writing that is gracefully evocative, she describes trekking through the Himalayas of Nepal in search of seeds to collect for her garden back home in Vermont. With her small yet eager band of botanists, she encounters Maoist guerillas and a natural world where the sky looms large and brilliant blue, where fruit bats hang from trees and butterflies suddenly appear in a swarm. To read Among Flowers is to follow Kincaid into this other world, to fall into that state where, as Kincaid writes, it is "so dreamily irritating to be so far away from everything I had known." LACEY GALBRAITH

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