Ever since the explorations of Marco Polo and the travels of Montaigne, a lively dialogue has persisted about the pros and cons of travel. Lynne Sharon Schwartz joins this dialogue with a memoir that raises both serious and amusing questions about travel, using her own experiences as vivid illustrations. Not Now, Voyagertakes us on a voyage of self-discovery as the author traces how travel has shaped her sensibilities from childhood through adulthood. She makes an adolescent visit to Miami Beach, where she confronts the powerful sensation of not belonging; she goes to Rome as a young woman and ponders the difference between ignorance and innocence; she ventures to Jamaica and witnesses political and social unrest; and she takes a family road trip to Montreal and watches her daughters come to startling realizations of their own. Schwartz’s personal history takes on new shapes, and her feelings about travel change as she shows us who she started out as and who she has become. Above all, this memoir exemplifies a mode of travel in and of itself: the mind on a journey or quest, pausing here and there, sometimes by design, sometimes by serendipity, lingering, occasionally backtracking, but always on the move.
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April 30, 2009
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