Ian Frazier spent about 17 years researching and writing ‘Travels in Siberia,’ about the same time Axl Rose took for ‘Chinese Democracy’ — but with better results. Frazier’s fascination for the forlorn and mythic, plus his humor, has always appealed to me. When I started as a Lonely Planet author, I picked put two destinations atop my author wish-list: the US Great Plains and Siberia. Two areas he’s now written full books on.
I got the chance to meet and speak with him recently, about why he spent so much time in a place people usually avoid, and what exactly his phrase ‘Russia-love’ means. As he puts it, everyone has ‘one country’ — a place they are instinctively drawn to and can’t help it. For him, it’s Russia.