TRAVELERS: Stories of Americans Abroad by L. M. -- Ed. Schulman

TRAVELERS: Stories of Americans Abroad

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The American experience abroad as seen through the eyes of some of our major fictional talents -- united by an uncompromising standard of literary excellence and the twin themes of personal and cultural displacement. The traveler, as Schulman observes in his introduction, is ripe for the ""most unsettling of all discoveries. . . that our cherished personal identity is little more than a figment of the imagination,"" and among the various geographically induced identity crises here are a black man dealing with the unfamiliar vagaries of Gallic justice in James Baldwin's ""Equal in Paris""; a lonely girl's friendship with a neurotic fellow student at a German university in Jean Stafford's ""The Echo and the Nemesis"".; and George P. Elliott's flirtations with primitivism in ""Among the Dangs."" While some embrace a newly discovered past (Nelson Algren's black GI turns towards the ""lion-colored hills"" of Africa in ""He Couldn't Boogie-Woogie Worth a Damn"" and an American teenager in India is drawn to the life of a Sannyasi holy man in Robin White's ""First Voice"") others, like Katherine Anne Porter's art student visiting the ""Leaning Tower"" of pre-war Berlin, vainly attempt to preserve their status as aloof observers. Altogether, the predominantly young characters address themselves, though in adult terms, to concerns of particular appeal to adolescents, and their experiences (with no intrusive guidance from Schulman beyond an introductory send-off) afford a manifestly challenging itinerary.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1972
Publisher: Macmillan