Monday, May 21, 2012

Travel Writer

On Friday I was sitting on a bluff in South Haven, Michigan, overlooking a lake Michigan beach, watching sailboats ease past the harbor lighthouse.  And I was reading The Collected Stories of Paul Theroux, sunlight streaking across my face.

The book selection was wholly appropriate, as Theroux's fiction is reminiscent of his many travel books, and his stories seem to blossom from specific locations and cultures.  Theroux's fiction, nonetheless, is not easily accessible and doesn't offer quick rewards for the reader.  One has to be willing to be submerged, as if the story itself is a means by which we may enter a time, place or culture.

I was grateful to have Theroux on a sunny day, and being a traveler myself, discovered enough in these thick pages to enjoy over a hundred mile beach vista and a bottle of chilled water.

Better yet, I was also offered the hope of a book-signing when I purchased the book at a used bookstore in South Haven.  "Next time you're in town," was the word.  I won't forget.

It won't be long before my own travels will bring me around again.  Back to the port, the deep blue waters, the sailboats fastened to the sunset.  I'll have another book then . . . and will likely have a travel story of my own to write about.

Same beach.  Different outcome.

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