A Nepali’s Aerican Odyssey
2023, pp. xii + 108
ISBN: 978 9937 597 76 0
“This evocative memoir takes you on time travel as a young Fulbright scholar explores the wide expanse of the U.S. in the mid-70s. Ramesh Shrestha’s clear-eyed account of the journey is filled with poetic touches as he recalls his culture shock but also deep interest in traversing the country and absorbing experience wherever it presents itself. While Nepal has provided the stage for plenty of foreigners to document their adventures, there’s very little in the way of literature about the reverse perspective – a Nepali chronicling life on the other side of the globe. This unique, sometimes subtle, voice glides across the scene while providing small sensory details that illuminate his cultural expedition in America. An academic assignment took him far from home but this book is anything but an academic read.”
– Brent Wiley
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“Ramesh’s tale of his two years as a Fulbright student scholar at Michigan State University is a mirror image of my own experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal from 1967 to 1970. “
– Mike Gill
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“Fun, honest, and thoughtful, Ramesh Shrestha’s Odyssey gives us a special view into the adventure and heartache of a Nepali free spirit’s travels to distant shores fifty years ago. A great way to see Nepal and the USA through a new set of eyes.”
– Tom Robertson
Ramesh Shrestha was born in Bhojpur Bazaar, Nepal on April 28, 1950. After finishing his SLC from Bidyodaya High in 1965, he spent two more years in Bhojpur teaching at the same school and doing his Intermediate of Arts as one of the first batch of students of the newly opened Bhojpur College.
In 1967, he came to Kathmandu for his BA when he also joined the capital’s vibrant literary scene publishing his poetry and essays in local magazines. He attended Tribhuvan University for his Master’s in English in 1970 when he started writing in English.
He then joined Patan Campus as an Assistant Lecturer of English in 1972. In 1974 he was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship to spend two years studying Linguistics at Michigan State University, East Lansing.
He then became a lecturer in the English Department at Tribhuvan University’s Kirtipur Campus. He also joined the Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies (CNAS) as a researcher.
In 1979 he became a Professional Associate at the Center for Cultural and Technical Interchange between East and West (or East-West Center), Honolulu.
The year 1980 saw him to Thailand where he has been ever since, teaching at Thammasat and Dhurakij Bundit universities and working in such diverse fields as journalism, marketing, media, and advertising. He founded The Advertising Book, Thailand Advertising, Marketing, Media Guide in 1984, which continued to publish annually until 2015.