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Not Now, Voyager
     

Not Now, Voyager

by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
 

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Ever since the explorations of Marco Polo and the travels of Montaigne, a lively dialogue has persisted about the pros and cons of travel— its excitement and novelties, its perils and misadventures. Lynne Sharon Schwartz joins this dialogue with a memoir that raises both serious and amusing questions about travel: She goes to Rome as a young woman and

Overview

Ever since the explorations of Marco Polo and the travels of Montaigne, a lively dialogue has persisted about the pros and cons of travel— its excitement and novelties, its perils and misadventures. Lynne Sharon Schwartz joins this dialogue with a memoir that raises both serious and amusing questions about travel: She goes to Rome as a young woman and ponders the difference between ignorance and innocence; she ventures to Jamaica and witnesses acute political and social unrest; and she takes a family road trip to Montreal and watches her daughters come to startling realizations of their own. In this beautifully crafted memoir, Schwartz's personal history takes on new shape and her feelings about travel change as she shows us who she started out as and who she has become.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Schwartz is an elegant writer with a nimble intellect, with an incisive awareness of how human encounters shape journeys more than sightseeing itineraries do." —The Seattle Times

"As Schwartz understands, it is not the outer voyage but the inner one that matters." —Los Angeles Times

"Charmingly idiosyncratic." —Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A veteran author of novels, poetry and essays examines her deep ambivalence about the value of travel-and connects it to the publication of her most recent novel (The Writing on the Wall, 2005). Schwartz's account begins in confusion in the early morning darkness in a hotel on the Greek island of Naxos. It ends with a sort of epiphany-a way to complete a story begun decades ago as a seventh grader, which became a novel about twins that she had returned to but abandoned on earlier occasions. In between, Schwartz moves about like a nervous traveler with an uncertain but engaging itinerary. So swiftly and gracefully do her paragraphs flow into one another that we are unbothered by jumping around to Jamaica, Rome, St. Louis, the Catskills, Hawaii and a fancy Boston hotel room plagued by a mouse. Schwartz says she's never liked to travel-despite her girlhood fantasies about upscale hotels with alacritous bellhops-because she doesn't like to feel ignorant, fearful or disrupted; she prefers familiar surroundings and the voyages in her mind. She confesses that she is often bored by the travel accounts of others, and suspects she's not alone. (In some places she forgets this principle with her own overlong anecdotes.) Throughout she alludes to-and quotes generously from-the Tao te Ching and the travel writings of Italo Calvino, W.G. Sebald, Frigyes Karinthy and many others. She writes affectingly about the loss of her father, and wonders if he were somehow related to look-alike Ariel Sharon. She recalls impecunious grad-school days and-most alarmingly-seeing a severed human hand in the Jamaican surf. Looming over all . . . 9/11. Charmingly idiosyncratic and peripatetic.\

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582435886
Publisher:
Counterpoint Press
Publication date:
04/13/2010
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

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