James Cowan has written over thirty books, including poetry, novels, non-fiction, short stories, essays, and art monographs. His novel, A Mapmaker’s Dream, won the ALS Gold Medal for literary excellence (1999). His work appears in thirty languages. His books explore the spiritual life of indigenous peoples in Australia, Borneo, the Torres Strait, and the Sahara. He has lived among the Aborigines of Australia. James Cowan is an Orthodox Christian, whose visits to Mount Athos and the Coptic monasteries of Egypt have helped him to understand the importance of asceticism as a limit experience in responding to climate change and global depredation. His most recent book, Hamlet’s Ghost, is a biography of a little known Renaissance prince of Italy, who built the first Ideal City in Europe. A journey up the Nile River in the early 2000s led to his exploration of the Holy Family’s three-and-a-half year stay in Egypt, Fleeing Herod.