Mag Dimond - Bowing to Elephants (Corte Madera Store)

Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 7:00pm

Introduced by Jack Kornfield

Who would have thought a privileged white woman of a mature age would finally see herself while gazing into the feathery eyes of a 14,000 lb. African elephant?  Or that a dream of death in a steamy Phnom Penh hotel room would help an abandoned daughter find the love she assumed was gone?

Bowing to Elephants is a travel memoir with a twist – the story of an unloved rich girl from San Francisco who becomes a travel junkie, searching for herself in the world to avoid the tragic fate of her narcissistic, alcoholic mother.  Haunted by images of childhood loneliness and the need to learn about her world, she journeys to far flung places -- into the perfumed chaos of India, the nostalgic damp streets of Paris, the gray watery world of Venice in the winter, the reverent and silent mountains of Bhutan, and the gold temples of Burma.  She discovers kinship, comfort and love amongst giant elephants in Kenya, and looks for answers to old questions in Vietnam and the tragically ravaged landscape of Cambodia. In the end, she sees herself as a citizen of the larger world. She accepts the death of the mother she never really had, and she finds peace and her authentic self in the refuge of Buddhist practice.

Mag Dimond has been a world traveler since the age of eleven when her mother took her to live in Italy for three years.  She has traveled extensively in Europe, and ventured to such exotic landscapes as India, Cambodia, Bhutan, Japan, Kenya, China, Burma, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cuba.  Through it all she kept detailed journals and photographed all the adventures.

With a BA in Creative Writing, MA in Comparative Literature, she embarked on a teaching career which lasted almost 20 years, teaching writing to college students in San Francisco and in Taos, New Mexico.  Most recently she volunteers as a writing tutor at 826 Valencia, an esteemed literacy program in San Francisco launched by local writer David Eggers.  Since the 1990’s she has been a practicing Buddhist and dedicated member of Spirit Rock Meditation Center north of San Francisco.  She dedicated 10 years to hospice work with the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco beginning in 2005.

Some of the loves of her life are:  her family, playing her grandmother’s baby grand, meditation, traveling, knitting, walking by the Pacific Ocean, writing practice, teaching, reading great literature, and enjoying good food and wine with friends.  In odd day-dreaming moments, she channels MFK Fisher and imagines writing a collection of intimate and witty essays about food and culture.

Essays excerpted from her memoir have been honored in a number of literary contests, specifically American Literary Review, Travelers Tales Solas Awards, Tulip Tree “Stories that Must be Told” Awards, and the Faulkner Wisdom Awards for 2017.  Additionally, she has published a number of short pieces on Elephant Journal, an online magazine with a readership of close to two million.  She has been a blogger for many years; you can find current (and earlier) essays on

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925
Bowing to Elephants: Tales of a Travel Junkie Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631525964
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: She Writes Press - September 17th, 2019

In Bowing to Elephants, a woman seeking love and authenticity comes to understand herself as a citizen of the world through decades of wandering the globe. During her travels she sees herself more clearly as she gazes into the feathery eyes of a 14,000-pound African elephant and looks for answers to old questions in Vietnam and the tragically ravaged landscape of Cambodia.