By Richard Sterling
“Richard Sterling’s writing reminds me of M.F.K. Fisher, but where she is elegant and feminine, he is wild and masculine.”
—Maxine Hong Kingston, author of The Woman Warrior
“I read The Fire Never Dies with gustatory relish and a permanent grin on my face. Sterling’s worldly culinary carousal– serves up tales profound and profane spiced with philosophies born of a devilishly knife-edged life on the road.”
—Christopher P. Baker, author of Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro’s Cuba
Richard Sterling believes that the best entrée to a culture is through its food and that the greatest way to reach people is through communing over meals. In his new book, The Fire Never Dies: One Man’s Raucous Romp Down the Road of Food, Passion and Adventure, Richard shares his most compelling stories from a lifetime of travel and adventure. Spanning both the physical and culinary worlds, Richard’s tales range from watching a murderer whip up a delicious egg recipe in Baja to the discovery of tiny red chili peppers used for a local hot sauce growing wild amongst temple ruins in Burma. Elsewhere he savors curry puffs with a lady of the night on the island of Penang, sips warm beer with the frank locals at a neighborhood bar in Nairobi, and whips up chicken and pasta for his sea-mates in the midst of a storm on the Sea of Cortez.
The Fire Never Dies opens after midnight in Baja, California, on New Year’s at the beginning of the new millennium. Sitting around the campfire Sterling talks with the locals and begins to tell a story. Richard’s story, as told in The Fire Never Dies spins out from that campfire and ranges to Asia, Africa, Europe, and back to Baja. Richard observed both chaos and beauty during his time in the Vietnam War, and those experiences continue to shape and inform his worldview and muscular prose.
The stories in The Fire Never Dies are heart-felt and sensitive, yet hard-edged and witty, creating a unique view of the world full of romance, passion, heartbreak, and pathos. Richard has seen, done, and eaten it all, allowing readers to sit at the table as he eats potato bugs and chicken feet and drinks the bowl of blood. The Fire Never Dies is at the very core of human experience.
Praise for Richard Sterling and The Fire Never Dies
“The Fire Never Dies is a fabulous marriage of contrasts––startling and delicious, grand and modest, intrepid and gentle, impulsive and thoughtful.”
—Bob Shacochis, author of Swimming in the Volcano and Domesticity: A Gastronomic Interpretation of Love
“Sterling’s writing is like spitfire, foursquare and jazzy with crackle, and his behavior is just scary enough to make you glad you’re not approaching a touchy border crossing in his company.”—Kirkus Reviews
About the Editor
Richard Sterling is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and a veteran of seven years in the U.S. Navy. Following on the heels of his military career, Sterling served as a Silicon Valley engineer and gradually found a broader calling as a writer, editor, lecturer, and insatiable traveler. He is based in Berkeley, California, where he is often politically incorrect. Sterling is the editor of the Lowell Thomas Award-winning Travelers’ Tales Food: A Taste of the Road(Travelers’ Tales, 1996), as well as The Adventure of Food: True Stories of Eating Everything (Travelers’ Tales, 1999), and The Fearless Diner: Travel Tips and Wisdom for Eating Around the World (Travelers’ Tales, 1998). He is also the author of Lonely Planet World Food: Spain, Vietnam and Hong Kong (Lonely Planet, 2000) and Greece (Lonely Planet, Fall 2001). Sterling has been a James Beard Foundation nominee for the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.
About Travelers’ Tales
Founded in 1993, Travelers’ Tales publishes the best in travel writing from world-famous authors to new and emerging writers. Our goal is to inspire and enlighten readers through true stories by travelers who have explored the depths of their experiences. The series includes: country and regional guides; books which explore the themes of women’s travel, spirituality, food, humor, and adventure; travel advice books; Footsteps: The Soul of Travel, a series that features single-author travel narratives; and Travelers’ Tales Classics, a new series which introduces out-of-print favorites of travel literature to a whole new audience. The Fire Never Dies is the latest book in the Footsteps series.
One Man’s Raucous Romp Down the Road of Food, Passion & Adventure
By Richard Sterling
Travelers’ Tales, October 2001
$14.95, trade paperback, 296 pages, 5 1/8″ x 8″