Saturnalia Cover for Helix Sep 26 2014 copy.jpg


by Justin Chapman

In the Spring of 2012, reporter and travel junkie Justin Chapman threw his cares to the wind and, by himself, set off on an epic journey across eight countries in Africa—from Cape Town, South Africa to Mityana, Uganda—by bus, train, and boat. Along the way, he narrowly escaped being locked away in a mental institution, visited an impoverished township that was changing its future with the help of an art-based nonprofit, got into a life-threatening car crash, explored the mystical island of Zanzibar, lived with a group of Catholic priests, witnessed a witchcraft healing ceremony, discovered a pygmy opium den, relapsed, and chased down riveting stories with a local journalist. He crossed cultural boundaries, found love and companionship in unusual places, and stared death—with all its visceral stench and gore—directly in the eyeballs. Saturnalia is an engrossing cultural anthropological treatise like none other. By embarking on a journey of self-discovery and survival, Chapman explores what Africa really has to offer and in the process discovers surprising and unexpected relationships between people and places.

Rare Bird Books, A Barnacle Book
Paperback, 2015: 9781940207384
US $15.95 | Travel & Memoir
Also available in ebook formats

Chapman’s vivid prose turns every paragraph into a photograph of a strange, dangerous but alluring land. As his characters indulge themselves with sometimes reckless abandon, the author communicates a sense of adventure for adventure’s sake and draws the reader into riding along without hesitation.
Joe Piasecki, editor of The Argonaut and former Los Angeles Times reporter

Justin Chapman is an author, poet, actor, and journalist. At age nineteen he was elected to the Altadena Town Council. He has written for numerous publications and news websites, including Pasadena WeeklyLA WeeklyDaily Vision (Uganda), and Berkeley Political Review. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. He has traveled to thirty countries and writes a travel blog with his fiancée at Saturnalia is his first book. He lives in Pasadena, CA.