Peace Corps Writers
Talking with Mo Tejani (page 3)
 Talking with
Mo Tejani
page 1
page 2
page 3

 
How did you go about getting the book published?

Through a friend I met Paiboon Publishing owner, Benjawan Terlecky, and I presented a proposal and book outline to her. I then sent her the first chapter of the book to review before a book contract was signed with time frames for completion. I was very fortunate to have a publisher who gave me total freedom in the choice of my editor, artistic freedom in the content and design of both the book cover and the inset black and white photographs included at the beginning of each chapter.

What sort of reaction have you had to the book?

Distribution of some 20 pre-printing promotional copies of the book generated eight positive reviews — captions from which appear on the first page of the book. Since publication, over the last six months, another 10 excellent reviews in various travel magazines in Thailand and USA, have appeared including two in the major daily newspapers in Thailand, The Bangkok Post and the Sunday edition of The Nation. From readers who purchased the book on Amazon.com, five have written reviews — all giving the book a five star rating. Lonely Planet author, Joe Cummings (Thailand 1977–78) has graciously provided a juicy blurb of his impressions of the book. A book reading tour in four major cities of Thailand, sponsored by the publisher, has generated decent book sales and good initial exposure to the Asia reading public. A supplementary book website www.mo-tejani.com — complete with photographs, excerpts and detailed book reviews and dialogues with the author — is now up and running.

How has your family reacted to your telling the family story?

Given that I expose many personal details of their lives in Uganda, the “kudos” have been forthcoming and gratifying.

What has surprised you the most with the publication of the book?

Fellow travelers who have read the book — some long lost friends from my past, but the majority, total strangers who identified with this theme — have contacted me to celebrate their own travel journeys in search of their own nesting grounds. Through calls during book radio talk shows, emails at the book website, these nomads, have confided in me, revealing the trails and tribulations they have gone through in their own enticing journeys around the globe in search of a place to call home.

Finally, what did you think of the recently released movie “Last King of Scotland” about Uganda and Forest Whitaker’s Oscar winning lead role as Idi Amin?
Forest Whitaker’s schizophrenic depiction of Amin as both a charming, down to earth, humorous soldier and yet a brutal tyrant with a demagogic flare for genocide certainly merits the award. I do, however, feel cheated that the movie plot, rather than focusing on this socio-political setting as a background to this tragic era of Ugandan history, opts to emphasize the plight of a young gullible Scottish doctor and his incredulous antics with Amin — thereby seriously minimizing the impact of historical lessons learnt from the movie for the world audience.
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