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October | 2024

An utterly unique travel memoir about a gay expat searching an otherworldly place for a deeper understanding of his partner and his adoptive homeland.

Embark on an extraordinary odyssey through the heart of the world's driest non-polar desert—the Atacama. In Mars on Earth, intrepid journalist Mark Johanson navigates this otherworldly terrain, a sliver of camel-colored hills, windswept dunes, and desolate salt flats nestled between the Pacific's tumultuous waves and the towering Andes. Unfolding against the backdrop of Chile's 2019-2020 protests, Mark's journey begins in Santiago, unraveling a rich tapestry of human resilience and passion that fuels a nation's desire for change.

As he traverses 1,200 miles of alien landscapes, Mark climbs to the Andean Altiplano's dizzying heights, explores the Pacific's kelp forests, and ventures onto a lithium-rich salt flat threatened by progress. The narrative reaches new heights as Mark delves into the heart of the Atacama, meeting captivating characters—a guardian of ancient mummies, a guru in a glass box, and a copper miner who defied nature's grasp for 69 days. At its core,

Mars on Earth weaves a rich tapestry of voices, highlighting the stories of Chile's marginalized communities, including the working class, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and immigrant communities from Venezuela and Haiti. Each narrative contributes to the social movement that could redefine the nation's future. This vibrant and adventurous work of narrative nonfiction is a captivating exploration of a land both barren and brimming with life.

For more information on author Mark Johanson, see here.

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