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Broughton (Brot) Coburn
graduated from Harvard College in 1973, then fulfilled a destiny with the
Himalayas -- where he has worked two of the past three decades. He developed
documentary films and oversaw environmental conservation and development
efforts for the World Bank, UNESCO, World Wildlife Fund, and other agencies.
But he's known mainly as an author.
Two of Coburn's books form
the foundation for the Aama's Journey illustrated program. Nepali Aama: Life
Lessons of a Himalayan Woman (Anchor/ Doubleday; now in its fourth edition),
documents Aama's life as an elderly, subsistence farmer in the foothills of
the Himalayas. The sequel, Aama in America: A Pilgrimage of the Heart
(Anchor/Doubleday) is the dramatic and poignant tale of their 12,000 mile
odyssey in search of the soul of the United States. In addition to acclaim as
an illustrated lecture program, this story has been widely excerpted and a
feature film screenplay is in progress.
In 1997, Coburn was awarded
the American Alpine Club's Literary Achievement Award for his body of work.
His third book, Everest: Mountain Without Mercy, (National Geographic Books)
reached #17 on the New York Times Bestseller list and was selected as "Pick"
for 1997 by Publisher's Weekly. It has sold over 350,000 copies-an unusual
showing for a large format illustrated book.
Coburn has written magazine
articles for New Age, Rock and Ice, The Denver Post Magazine, Co-Evolution
Quarterly, Worldview and other magazines. He toured 18 cities for his first
two books, 7 cities for Everest: Mountain Without Mercy, and delivered
presentations at 8 Everest IMAX film premieres.
Coburn also authored a young
adult photo-biography of Sir Edmund Hillary, Triumph on Everest, for National
Geographic Books. This was selected as a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for
Young People for 2001 by the National Council for Social Studies and the
Children's Book Council. In April of 2001 his collaboration with Jamling
Tenzing Norgay, Touching My Father's Soul: A Sherpa's Journey to The Top of
Everest (HarperSanFrancisco), his fifth book, reached #7 on the prestigious
BookSense list, #24 on the New York Times list, was granted an Honorary
Mention at the 2001 Banff Mountain Book Festival, and was a finalist for the
coveted 2001 Books for a Better Life award.
In addition to lecturing,
Broughton Coburn is now editing a large format book on the Himalaya, and is
writing a series of historical fiction titles set in the Himalaya in the 1960s
and '70s. He is also the Special Projects Director for the American Himalayan
Foundation, a charitable organization based in San Francisco that brings
education, health care and environmental conservation to villagers like Aama.
of Colorado at Boulder
Department of Anthropology
On behalf of the Department of Anthropology and the Center for Asian
Studies, I would like to thank you for your wonderful presentation of "Aama's
Journey: A Pilgrimage Between Continents and Cultures" here at the
University of Colorado. We are so delighted that you were able to come
here to share Aama's story with CU students, faculty, and folks from the
Boulder community. Of the numerous events that I have been involved with
over the last year, your presentation is the one that people still rave
about. You both touched people's hearts and got them thinking-a true
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
California Academy of Sciences
overwhelmed by the emotion of the show and, judging by the ovations, so
was the whole audience. You masterfully tread the fine line between pathos
and pitfall, humor and humility. As a storyteller you have developed your
subject so expertly that the delicacy and poignancy are not only
preserved, but amplified without any sense of the crass or exaggeration.
Aama is the real thing, and your conveyance of her pure perceptions
enthralled us and swept us away. Thank you for such a warm and rewarding
Right after the show I phoned June Anderson, one of our Anthropologists,
whom I'd seen in the audience. I wanted her reaction to your talk before
it was stale. I had to leave a message and in return got this message:
'The lecture was MAGNIFICENT, what more can I say?! Not only is he a good
speaker but his material is WONDERFUL.! Beautiful photography too. . . it
is such a plus for the Academy to have a speaker like that, it is just
wonderful.' You made me laugh and you made me cry!'"
Director of Operations
California Academy of Sciences
The Associated ["Knife and
Fork"] Clubs, Inc.
The purpose of this letter is to give my enthusiastic recommendation of
Broughton Coburn as a professional speaker. I have been in the lecture
business for forty years and "Brot" has one of the most unusual programs I
have ever seen.
The illustrated program "Aama's Journey" has patriotism, humor, travel and
stirring inspiration all wrapped up into one. I have had the pleasure of
suggesting this program to 35 different groups in the last 6 years, and
reports have been uniformly good.
Here are just a few of the comments I've received:
"Excellent presentation, beautiful photography, interesting subject - he
was well received and enjoyed!"
"We loved his performance."
"The most moving, beautiful evening we have had."
"A heartwarming presentation - just super."
At least two of my groups have invited Mr. Coburn back for a repeat
appearance in less than five years. This is unusual and a tribute to the
fact that he has something to say and knows how to say it. I believe any
group that schedules Broughton Coburn to speak on "Aama's Journey" is in
for a treat.
presentation of "Aama's Journey" here at the Vanderbilt was a
wonderfully moving experience. Your personal experiences with Aama and
her perspectives on America were truly thought provoking.
The audience was clearly captivated and sincerely interested. I cannot
recall a presentation that elicited so many questions (I was beginning
to wonder if they would ever let you go.) And, judging by the brisk
trade at the book counter afterwards, I suspect that you have gained
quite a few readers.
We enjoyed your company and enjoyed showing you the Museum. (If only we
could have gotten Aama's reaction to the Vanderbilt....)
I hope that the rest of your tour went as well, and that you will be
back to visit us in the future. Please keep us informed about future
books or projects."
Director of Research, Interpretation
and Public Programming
The Vanderbilt Museum
The Sunset Club
1021 University Street Seattle, Washington 98101
Your audience was rapt, and
you touched something deep that left us all thoughtful on the way home -
and hopefully for a long time.
Sunset Club members are generous, as a rule, with compliments; but their
praise for you and Didi, your courage, compassion, sense of adventure and
caring was all in superlatives. I, of course, lapped it up and bathed in
reflected glory. It's nice to have worked on a success - nay, a hit!"
Thank you very much for
the program on Tuesday, and best wishes to you and Didi and Phoebe from
all who were at the Sunset Club that night.
3450 North Clubhouse Drive
Jackson, Wyoming 83002
"Thank you again
for such a wonderful evening. I think many wished they could have met Aama
in person, after such an endearing introduction by you. Your program was
inspiring, educational, entertaining, unusual, and a perspective on life
in our country that we all need to see. After the events of last year, the
timing of your topic could not have been better."
The Asia Society
Los Angeles, California
presentation and discussion of your journey was wonderful. The audience
seemed mesmerized by the presentation and the wonderful question and
Teton Science School
P.O. Box 68
Kelly, Wyoming 83011
"Your program precipitated the most conversation of any of the Winter
Speakers Series talks. Reactions were so varied - 'It was the best one!'
to 'I cried through the whole thing.' The staff dining room was buzzing
with conversation about the program the morning after. Your program was
narratively and visually fascinating. Thanks for a very provocative and
Speakers Series Coordinator
Denver Museum of Natural
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, Colorado 80205-5798
thanks to you for such a touching, humorous and refreshing look at life -
through the eyes of "spirited Aama." You most certainly won over our
sellout audience and Jane, a long time volunteer, felt it was the best
lecture she has seen - a true compliment...."
Broughton Coburn's speaking
engagements have included . . .
("Knife and Fork Clubs")
appearances at 35 clubs around the U.S.
The Rocky Mountain
Association of Orthodontists
California Academy of Sciences
Golf and Country Club
Walla Walla, Washington
Diocese of Episcopal Ministers
Museum of Natural History
Museum of Natural History
New York City
Centerport, New York
of Man, Balboa Park
San Diego, California
Museum of Wildlife Art
New York City and Los Angeles
Community Library Speakers Series
Angeles Public Library Speakers Series
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