From the bestselling author of 'On Mexican Time', an affectionate, funny and moving portrait of an artist as a young man as he takes a rollercoaster ride from one end of the world to the other - and is finally called home . . .
Part travel memoir, part coming of age, part father and son tale, part birdseye view of the swinging sixties, 'Native State' takes off to faraway exotic places and close encounters with the natives, from drug dealers, literary icons, rock gods and beautiful strippers to fortune tellers - and back to a father's bedside as his son struggles with the question of where his native state truly is.
Called home from a life living abroad to attend to the dying father he's never been close to, author and former musician Tony Cohan finds himself drawn into a rueful contemplation of his former life, from his classic coming of age as a Californian teen in the 1950s to the dizzy heights and eventual burnt end of the 1960s.
His determination to escape the confines of a celebrity-obsessed and conservative alcoholic Hollywood family through music, writing and travel leads him on a rollercoaster ride from one end of the world to another, working and playing among genuises and lowlifes, divas and crooks, zen masters and rock stars.
A palm reader's dire prediction that he will die in middle age while travelling strengthens his conviction to live life to the full now - no waiting. That's when he's not worrying about when middle age actually strikes . . .
Down and out in Paris one minute, on the run in Marrakesh the next, along the way he has some hilarious misadventures and often terrifyingly close shaves, such as narrowly escaping being thrown in jail for life in Cuba. His adventures lead to hanging out with The Doors' Jim Morrison, swapping letters with enigmatic author Paul Bowles, being hit on by his hero William Burroughs and stumbling into a party at The Monkees' Hollywood home.
Written with a novelist's eye and by a born storyteller, 'Native State' paints an indelible portrait of a unique cultural era - and an extraordinary life. It is not only an evocative coming of age story and the ultimate travel adventure, but as son and dying father struggle towards acceptance, an intimate and moving exploration of coming to terms with self, family and the elusive idea of home.