Authors Mei-Ling Hopgood and Monte Reel at Book Beat

Please join us on Thursday, July 8th at 7 PM for a special book-signing & reading with husband and wife authors Mei-Ling Hopgood and Monte Reel.

Mei-Ling Hopgood is a Chinese-American journalist and author. Her first book “Lucky-Girl: A Memoir” published by Algonquin books in 2009 will be released into paperback this month. “Lucky Girl” is the story of Mei-Ling’s childhood and adopted family of Taylor, Michigan, the search and reunion with her birth parents in China and her quest for a Chinese American identity. Mei-Ling  lives in Buenos Aires with her husband Monte Reel and their daughter.

Monte Reel is a South American correspondent for the Washington Post. He will be reading and talking about his first book “The Last of the Tribe,” a heart-pounding modern-day adventure set in one of the world’s last truly wild places. The Last of the Tribe is a riveting, brilliantly told tale of encountering the unknown and the unfathomable, and the value of preserving it.

Lucky Girl is a refreshingly upbeat take on dealing with the pressures and expectations of family, while remaining true to oneself. Simple, to the point and uncluttered of the everyday minutiae, Mei-Ling Hopgood nails the concept of becoming one’s own.” — Metro Times

“Hopgood is a likable narrator whose life embodies a fascinating Sliding Doors–type what-if scenario. . . She deftly and movingly contrasts her own childhood with doting parents in a Michigan suburb to the very different lives of her sisters.”  Winner of Elle Magazine’s Reader’s Prize  (Jill Jacobs, Elle reader’s jury)

About “The Last of the Tribe”:

Throughout the centuries, the Amazon has yielded many of its secrets, but it still holds a few great mysteries. In 1996 experts got their first glimpse of one: a lone Indian, a tribe of one, hidden in the forests of southwestern Brazil. Previously uncontacted tribes are extremely rare, but a one-man tribe was unprecedented. And like all of the isolated tribes in the Amazonian frontier, he was in danger. Resentment of Indians can run high among settlers, and the consequences can be fatal. The discovery of the Indian prevented local ranchers from seizing his land, and led a small group of men who believed that he was the last of a murdered tribe to dedicate themselves to protecting him. These men worked for the government, overseeing indigenous interests in an odd job that was part Indiana Jones, part social worker, and were among the most experienced adventurers in the Amazon. They were a motley crew that included a rebel who spent more than a decade living with a tribe, a young man who left home to work in the forest at age fourteen, and an old-school sertanista with a collection of tall tales amassed over five decades of jungle exploration.

“Whizzing arrows, devious plots, heartbreak and mystery — it’s amazing that amidst all this intrigue and adventure, Monte Reel’s main purpose in this remarkable tale is to chart the science behind an event we may never witness again: the discovery of a last survivor of a lost tribe. Reel masterfully describes the peril and moral dilemmas that unfold when a team devoted to protecting indigenous tribes stumbles upon a tribesman who, armed with five-foot arrows and near-invisibility, would rather protect himself. You won’t find anthropology this enthralling without a bullwhip and a fedora.” -Christopher McDougall, New York Times bestselling author of Born to Run

“The Last of the Tribe is ‘Avatar’ for grown-ups, a tribe-in-peril-story with real people, complicated motives, and every bit of subtlety and nuance left out of James Cameron’s cliched script. Reel’s tale is expertly told: perfectly timed, thoroughly researched and descriptively written. Back stories, personal histories, character development and political context are deftly woven into the narrative, and each departure from the quest feels appropriate at the time.” – The San Francisco Chronicle


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