A Trance After Breakfast

A Trance After Breakfast

by Alan Cheuse
     
 

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A collection of lyrical travel writings from celebrated writer and NPR commentator Alan Cheuse.

Along with luggage and tickets, we always travel with that which it is impossible to leave behind: ourselves, our spirits, our souls. By definition the best travel writing carries us on a soul-journey, the sort of trip that dramatizes how the heart learns

Overview

A collection of lyrical travel writings from celebrated writer and NPR commentator Alan Cheuse.

Along with luggage and tickets, we always travel with that which it is impossible to leave behind: ourselves, our spirits, our souls. By definition the best travel writing carries us on a soul-journey, the sort of trip that dramatizes how the heart learns about its place in the world.

In A Trance After Breakfast, poetic wanderer and novelist (To Catch the Lightning) Alan Cheuse has crafted a collection that masterfully exceeds such standards. He lures the reader around the world, from Bali and New Zealand to Mexico and back home again to his native New Jersey, making the foreign familiar and the familiar slightly foreign.

Collected from such celebrated publications as Gourmet, the Antioch Review, and the San Diego Reader, the dispatches in A Trance After Breakfast will enchant, captivate, and transport readers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Novelist, essayist, editor and NPR mainstay Cheuse (To Catch the Lightning, Listening to the Page) compiles a highly literate travelogue from material previously published in Gourmet, the Antioch Review and elsewhere. In "Reading the Archipelago," Cheuse's survey of Indonesia-centric literature is so compelling it will make readers want to pick up some Conrad and Melville. The clever "Thirty-five Passages Over Water" covers notable journeys, the parts that come before or after the destination, moving backward in time. "CODA: Two Oceans" evokes the Jersey native's Atlantic/Pacific memories. The title piece recounts Bali's atmosphere of spirituality, but isn't as strong as his reporting from the U.S.-Mexico border at San Ysidro: "the great crossing point, nexus of cultures, nexus of countries, nexus of vision, nexus of borderlands between first world and third"; he's just as piercing regarding the psychology of those who make the trip across. Though it starts slow, three Mexico narratives prove splendid enough to forgive; Cheuse's eclectic journeys shine a spotlight on one of the greatest rewards of travel, "to know... something quite valuable that had never occurred to us before."
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From the Publisher
""It's very good to travel with Cheuse, the literate Jersey boy who's lived long enough to think it's time to see the rest of the world. As our guide, he's seeing it all for the first time, just like we are (though he's read about it), so that he's dazzled, moved, impressed, shocked, instructed and provoked. He is us, in other words. And he relishes the vast world outside his ken as if it were a rare jewel." --Richard Ford" -

""This is how I want to learn to travel, with Alan Cheuse's eye and ear and brain and, most of all, heart. 'A love affair of fierce currents,' indeed. A Trance After Breakfast will endure as a model for the engaged explorer, even the armchair sort." --Josephine Humphreys" -

""Alan Cheuse's evocations of place — the water world of his youth on the Jersey shore, his tramps in Bali and New Zealand, his inquiries on California's border with Mexico — are Whitmanesque in their enthusiasm and captivating in all their particulars. His observations on the way various writers have approached southeast Asian settings in their novels, on the one hand, and his thoughts on Jewish cultural life in Mexico, on the other, are the reflections of a charming and original mind." --Barry Lopez

" -

"Alan Cheuse is a pleasurable traveling companion not merely because of the keenness of his eye but also because of the richness of his vision and his evocative prose. " - Shelf Awareness

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402247699
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
06/01/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
209,646
File size:
354 KB

Meet the Author

Novelist, essayist, and story writer Alan Cheuse has been described as "The Voice of Books on NPR." He has written four novels, including the recent To Catch the Lightning, and a pair of novellas. He is also the editor of Seeing Ourselves: Great Early American Short Stories and co-editor of Writers' Workshop in a Book. He teaches writing at George Mason University.

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