?The Land Near Oz? by Aaron Allbright shares the story of the author, his partner and their journey to becoming adopted Kiwis
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. ? It?s a dream everyone has had at one time or another-running away from it all in search of paradise and the life of their dreams. Aaron Allbright?s debut memoir, ?The Land Near Oz: Two Gay Yankees Move to New Zealand? (ISBN 0982856504) shares the story of how the author did just that. It is an adventure that leads him and his partner from Orange County, Calif., to a sheep farm in New Zealand where they find out dreams really can come true? just not in the way they could have ever imagined.
In his new memoir, Allbright and his better half, Beau, decide to put their Southern California lifestyle in the rearview and head out for New Zealand, where their closest neighbor is Australia, known to everyone locally as ?Oz.? In one particular story from the book, the couple is searching for Paradise on their map and are surprised to come across a road sign that says, ?PARADISE: NO EXIT.? That serendipitous stroke of everyday fate was enough to seal the deal and convince Allbright and his partner to find out what awaits them over the rainbow. The couple buys a piece of paradise from the direct descendants of the first English missionaries to inhabit the far side of the Far North of New Zealand.
Allbright combines the beauty of New Zealand with detailed stories involving a colorful cast of characters like the Maoris with traditional full face and body tattoos, a Texan named Big Mama and a former member of Led Zeppelin.
?It?s easy to fall in love with New Zealand. Come down here one time and you too will fall in love,? says Allbright. ?But what is it actually like when a gay couple leaves America far behind, trades the California of the O.C., of Fashion Island and of celebrities on the beaches and moves to a sheep station six stops after the end of the world? This is a portrait of a paradise, warts and all.?
Intended for travel lovers, humor fans, history buffs and any dreamer looking to improve their standing in life, ?The Land Near Oz? hints at worldly adventure and a deeper knowledge about the mystery of living in this world.
The Land Near Oz is available on Amazon.com and also on Kindle. All Royalties are going to The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT and Questioning Youth.
About the Author:
A memoirist, humorist and world traveler, Aaron Allbright has degrees in Russian area studies, Russian literature and linguistics, and has taught in Sierra Leone, Saudi Arabia and Paris, as well as at the University of California Irvine and Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., where he was a tenured professor.
Allbright was born in Missouri and lived there in his early years before spending three years in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, West Africa. He later spent a year traveling around Africa and crossing the Sahara twice before living in Saudi Arabia and Paris and eventually settling for many years in Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, Calif. For the last seven years, he and his partner have lived in New Zealand. ?The Land Near Oz? is his first memoir.
Like Huck Finn, Aaron Allbright was born in Missouri and grew up on the banks of the Mississippi.
He spent three years in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone before traveling overland through other parts of Africa for a year and crossing the Sahara twice.
Later, he called Saudi Arabia (eight months) and France (four years) home.
In Paris, he was a member of the Union des Artistes and acted at the Duncan Theater in the Rue de Seine and at the Theatre de l?Atelier in Montmartre.
He and his spouse trekked extensively in the Himalaya before settling in Orange County, California.
For the past seven years, they have lived in New Zealand with two cats, two dogs, sheep, cows and a donkey named Don Quixote. The Land Near Oz is his first memoir.
Aaron Allbright has degrees in Russian Area Studies, Russian literature, and linguistics and has taught in Sierra Leone?West Africa; Saudi Arabia; Paris; the University of California Irvine; and was a tenured professor at Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, CA.
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