Can you go home again?
In the epic poem the Odyssey by the ancient Greek poet Homer, Odysseus (known as Ulysses to the Romans) sets forth after fighting in the Trojan war to return home to Ithaca. His journey takes ten years, through trials and tribulations.
In 1961, Cornell student Steve Nelson leaves Ithaca, New York on a journey to Vicos, a remote community high in the Peruvian Andes. There he lives, without electricity and with meager food, among the descendants of the Incas.
The Vicosinos have survived for more than four centuries as feudal serfs working the land for the benefit of harsh overlords. Now they have a plan to win their freedom, but powerful interests stand in their way. Then Ted Kennedy shows up.
With the U.S. and U.S.S.R. confronting each other in Berlin, in what could lead to nuclear war, Steve wonders whether he can ever get home again. And when he does leave Vicos, he discovers that home is not what it seems.
He finds himself on a ten-year odyssey of trials and tribulations, triumph and loss, sex and drugs, love and murder, joy and sorrow, amid the turbulent times and musical revolutions of the ‘60s. Forced to live outside the law, he undergoes a profound transformation as an exile in search of home.
In this memoir in words and images, Steve recounts the twists and turns of fate which took him from the rugged Andes to the Velvet Underground, from Martin Luther King to B.B. King, from visions of justice to the sounds of the blues and rock ‘n’ roll.
Click on EXCERPTS to read sample passages from the book.