“Something shifts inside of us when we see where we come from, when we unravel the eternal fabric of our extended families; we grow in resilience and understanding.”
-Journalist Jennifer Wilson on her ancestral journey to
Croatia — from “JOURNEYS HOME”
WASHINGTON (Dec. 15, 2014)—With the recent surge in geneaological travel, National Geographic gives readers a passport to embark on a search for their family’s ancestry with JOURNEYS HOME: Inspiring Stories, Plus Tips & Strategies to Find Your Family History (National Geographic Books; ISBN 978-1-4262-1381-6; on sale Feb. 3, 2015; hardcover $26).
The book opens with a personal journey to Ireland as recounted by featured author, actor, television director and award-winning travel writer Andrew McCarthy. Following McCarthy’s story are 25 intriguing personal narratives from other contributors, including writers Joyce Maynard, Pico Iyer and Diane Johnson, and National Geographic’s geographer, Juan José Valdés, all in search of their ancestry.
JOURNEYS HOME reveals the powerful sense of identity and security that comes from connecting with one’s heritage. McCarthy was inspired to uncover his Irish roots in part by becoming a father as well as by the importance his Irish wife placed on family legacy. Other journeys in the book span the globe to destinations such as Sicily, Russia, India, Peru, Cuba, Angola and the U.S. states of Virginia, Illinois and California.
Whether the contributors are looking to meet unknown relatives for the first time, unravel family mysteries, walk in the treacherous footsteps of ancestors or return as an adult to a place they fled as a child, each pilgrimage is linked by the common desire to know one’s past in order to reconnect and gain a sense of belonging. Each compelling and poignant tale is punctuated by stunning imagery that captures the beauty of the locale and by sidebars chock-full of tips on how to experience each culture in more depth.
The book includes a foreword by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Spencer Wells, who directs National Geographic’s Genographic Project, which uses advanced DNA analysis to trace human origins and better understand our collective past. DNA testing has gained momentum in recent years as an impetus for genealogical travel.
JOURNEYS HOME concludes with “Genealogy 101,” a 10-step guide for readers interested in planning their own journeys home as well as research tips and information about the featured destinations.
Ireland– Andrew McCarthy
Angola and Virginia, United States – Joe Mozingo
Argentina – Alex Bellos
Cambodia – Nawuth Keat with Martha E. Kendall
British Columbia, Canada – Joyce Maynard
Ontario, Canada – Tiffany Thornton
Croatia – Jennifer Wilson
Cuba – Juan José Valdés
Czech Republic – Joseph Hurka
England – Jim Eagles
Germany – Joe Yogerst
India – Pico Iyer
Japan – Edward Iwata
Laos and Vietnam – Thomas Fuller
Mexico – Peter McBride
Norway – Dave Hage
Peru – Marie Arana
The Philippines and California, United States – Barbara A. Noe
Krakow, Poland – Nina Strochlic
Russia – Hilary Mandleberg
Scotland – Andrew Evans
Sicily, Italy – Renée Restivo
Taiwan, Republic of China – Mei-Ling Hopgood
Tanzania – Donovan Webster
Ulster, Ireland, and Northern Ireland – Liz Beatty
Illinois, United States – Diane Johnson
About Featured Author Andrew McCarthy
Andrew McCarthy, who wrote the featured chapter on Ireland for JOURNEYS HOME, is an actor and television director, known for his roles in the 1980s films “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Mannequin,” “Weekend at Bernie’s,” “Pretty in Pink” and “Less Than Zero.” He also has an illustrious writing career. He is an editor-at-large at National Geographic Traveler magazine and has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Travel+Leisure, Afar, Men’s Journal, Bon Appetit, National Geographic Adventure and others. The Society of American Travel Writers named McCarthy 2010’s “Travel Journalist of the Year,” and he was cited three times for notable work in the “Best American Travel Writing” series. His 2012 memoir, “The Longest Way Home,” became a New York Times best-seller.
About National Geographic Books
National Geographic Books creates and distributes print and digital works that inspire, entertain, teach and give readers access to a world of discovery — and possibility. Each year we publish more than 150 new books for adults, families and children on a wide range of nonfiction subjects, from animals to travel, cartography to history, fun facts to moving stories. National Geographic books are available in 38 languages and more than 60 countries and in countless bookstores, mass-market outlets, schools, libraries and specialty retailers throughout the world. For more information, visit facebook.com/NatGeoBooks and nationalgeographic.com/books.