Buckley takes the reader back to his childhood in Montecito, just outside of Santa Barbara, during the 1950s and 1960s. These eighteen essays are a chronicle of the rapid cultural and physical changes that coincided with his coming of age in California as a member of the baby boom generation. "I know it's simplistic," writes Buckley, "but nine out of ten days all I want to do is drive an old Chevy again, lean back against the wide bench seat, switch the AM radio on to a game, shift that 3-speed on the column, and cruise with the windows down." What Buckley calls the "fire at the edge of things"the blindingly rapid changes during his lifetime in society, politics, and technologyglows brightly throughout the eighteen narratives in the book. Discussion of these issues takes place in the context of people's liveseither Buckley's or those of his friendsrather than in abstract terms. Cruising State is deeply personal, yet universal in appeal.
About the Author
Though currently a professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, Christopher Buckley is a true Californian. Born and raised in Santa Barbara and Montecito, he grew up under the California sun and on top of the blue Pacific waves. He has published five books of poetry as well as being anthologized in a number of collections. He currently teaches graduate and undergraduate creative writing courses at West Chester University.