Press Release: Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli

Crown Publishing Group logoPenny Simon                                                                



“Napoli’s engaging, keenly observed, and informative chronicle captures Bhutan mid-metamorphosis as it transforms itself into a democracy and as media and the Internet redefine the Bhutanese concept of contentment.”



“The author’s authentic voice and . . . cultural insights make for a refreshingly uplifting book. . . . Ex-journalist Napoli’s search for wholeness and spiritual renewal . . . ably avoids the first-person trap of self-absorption through memorable depictions of the people and places in her narrative.”

–Kirkus Reviews


When Los Angeles–based public radio journalist Lisa Napoli found herself unhappy with her work in the fast-paced media world, a chance encounter led her to a tiny Himalayan kingdom half a world away, where she volunteered to help launch the country’s first youth-oriented radio station. In Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth (on sale February 8), Lisa explains how her journey gave her much more than unprecedented access to a culture largely unknown to Westerners, ultimately proving to be personally transformative.


Lisa found Bhutan to be the kind of magical place she didn’t think existed anymore; shielded from the world, most Bhutanese are subsistence farmers who’ve never even seen an airplane, much less flown on one; television and Internet have only been allowed into the country for a decade now. But after a century of monarchy, Bhutan’s beloved king abdicated the throne and declared a transition to democracy; the creation of a free press was seen as an essential tool.


In an interview, Lisa can discuss:


• Her conflicting feelings about helping to bring the modern media world to a country that measures its success in terms of “Gross National Happiness” rather than in GDP


• The extensive changes that have occurred in Bhutan in the last few years, and if the country is better or worse for those changes


• The profound midlife crisis that motivated Lisa’s journey, and how the experience led to insights that have radically changed her outlook


• Some of her greatest experiences in Bhutan, and her ongoing commitment to help the Bhutanese


• Bhutan’s unique charms, including the colorful dress worn by the locals; the profusion of phalluses as decoration (to ward off envy!); and the Bhutanese love of spicy food


• The resistance the Bhutanese have to their country becoming a democracy, and how the transition is going thus far


Lisa will be touring nationwide; her schedule of events is enclosed. I look forward to speaking with you about an interview or review.

The Crown Publishing Group