Jonathan Gourlay fled to Micronesia after graduating from the Iowa Writers Workshop. He was an Assistant Professor at the College of Micronesia - FSM for eleven years. He currently lives in the quiet corner of Connecticut where he is a vicarious goat farmer. He regularly publishes articles online at The Bygone Bureau and elsewhere.
Nowhere Slowby Jonathan Gourlay
In 1997, Jonathan Gourlay travels to the island of Pohnpei, in the western Pacific Ocean, to teach English at the College of Micronesia. He is a stranger in a strange land, unfamiliar with
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The Bygone Bureau presents Nowhere Slow: Eleven Years in Micronesia, Jonathan Gourlay's memoir of cultural confusion, hilarity and tragedy, and a decade of soul-searching.
In 1997, Jonathan Gourlay travels to the island of Pohnpei, in the western Pacific Ocean, to teach English at the College of Micronesia. He is a stranger in a strange land, unfamiliar with the language, the intricacies of Pohnpeian social life, and most of all, the mildly psychotropic drink sakau. But the society that he blunders into eventually becomes his adopted home for the next eleven years. Along the way, Gourlay endures plenty of minor embarrassments and one major heartbreak: his whirlwind marriage to a Pohnpeian woman comes apart and ends in tragedy, leaving him to pick up the pieces of his life and to raise his daughter alone.
The Bygone Bureau (www.bygonebureau.com) is an online arts and culture magazine, winner of Best New Blog at the SXSW Interactive Web Awards in 2009.
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There are incredibly beautiful passages in this book and this man really digested and internalized his time in a very different culture. This is not a travel book; it's a life lived consciously being "born" already with adult sensibilities into a complex world.