From my list on blending memoir, travel, and history.
Who am I?
I’ve always enjoyed books that introduce me to faraway places, cultural narratives, and the writers behind the stories. After retiring from college teaching, I decided to write one myself. I’m a Mark Twain scholar, so I followed Twain’s lecture tour through Australasia, India, and South Africa. One of my goals was to expose my research methods to my readers, and writing in the first person made that easy. What I hadn’t foreseen was how much the process would force me to confront my own past—exposing the radical differences between Mark Twain and Me.
Susan's book list on blending memoir, travel, and history
Why did Susan love this book?
This is one of my favorite books ever. Horwitz’s project was to follow famous travelers, and Blue Latitudes follows Captain Cook on a voyage that Cook himself characterized as having gone “farther than any other man has been before.” (Trekkies take note: Cook/Kirk, “farther than any other man has been before”/”boldly go where no man has been before.” Who knew?)
Star Trek aside, Horwitz, accompanied by his hard-drinking sidekick Roger, boldly goes where Cook went, exploring history, culture, and the legacies of European colonialism on their way. In between bouts of laughter, we learn a lot about the South Pacific, then and now, and about Cook and his men themselves—not to speak of Horwitz and Roger. It’s a rollicking voyage through time and space that holds your attention throughout.