Item description for Eating Europe: A Meta-Nonfiction Love Story (Writing Travel) by Volkmer Jon...
EATING EUROPE: A META-NONFICTION LOVE STORY is travel writing in its most hilarious, poignant, and consequential form. It is the year 2000, and Jon has a grant to write about "the Euro-transitional era." From Amsterdam to Alsace, the tourist life is good. He and Janet eat and drink and spar with breezy affection while Jon pays scant attention to his project. As they drive on toward southern France, it becomes clear that something has gone very wrong-both in the journey itself, and in the telling of the journey. Jon the author steps in to explain that he had stopped writing for three years. In the meantime, the tragedy of 9/11 and the drum-beat of war have changed everything. Janet has launched into peace activism and spiraled into depression. In the very month of the Iraq invasion, at the height of America's anti-French hysteria, Jon goes to France to try to the finish the book. But the ground beneath his story has shifted. The gloom of the real world bleeds into his writing-where it finds parallels in the pain of personal relationship and in the lies of every claim of "nonfiction." In the end, EATING EUROPE strives for reconciliations: the author to his wife, the wife to her character, the author to his work, the work to its genre, America to France. About the Author JON VOLKMER has written numerous travel features for newspapers and magazines. He is director of creative writing at Ursinus College, where he teaches travel writing and travel literature. He is an award-winning fiction writer, essayist and poet, with publications in such journals as PARNASSUS, PRAIRIE SCHOONER, TEXAS REVIEW, and PAINTED BRIDE QUARTERLY. He is the author of THE ART OF COUNTRY GRAIN ELEVATORS, a poetry collection with photographs by Bruce Selyem (Bottom Dog Press.) He holds an MA in Creative Writing from Denver University, and a PhD in English from the University of Nebraska.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.6" Width: 5.6" Height: 1" Weight: 1.05 lbs.
Release Date Oct 14, 2006
Publisher Parlor Press
ISBN 1932559701 ISBN13 9781932559705
Availability 136 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 28, 2017 09:45.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Eating Europe: A Meta-Nonfiction Love Story (Writing Travel)?
Writing with Conscience Feb 16, 2007
I purchased this book on the recommendation of a friend and got much more than I expected. The first half is a romantic romp through the French country side, with witty gastronomical observations riding the rumble seat while the relation between the lovers, Jon and Janet, occupies the driver's seat or sometimes rides shotgun. Then things get complicated as the writer's consciousness about truth duels with his need to live with the terms of his professorial position and meet the requirements of a grant, while, at the same time, he drives and loves. This exploration of romance, literary genre, and writing with conscience is, in my opinion, close to genius. While I would not call it a Provence Travel Memoir, as others have, I'd call it a great trip, worth taking.
Provence Travel Memoir Dec 29, 2006
The prose roped me in from the beginning, even before I was able to discern what the book was about. I continued to read, for the sheer enjoyment of the pictures the writing produced. Eventually, I realized I was reading anecdotes that could just as easily been about me and one of my partners as about the author and his wife. Universal themes of relationships emerged from every chapter as I read on. Some brought back happy memories, some brought back painful memories. I substituted myself for the author and read faster and faster, in spite of the fact I wanted to make the book last. Joy of reading came from exploration of the human soul. It was the same kind of joy, from the same source, I have gotten from Dostoyevsky, and Kesey, and Helprin, and many other authors.
I derived an immense amount of pleasure from Eating Europe, yet I gave it only 4 stars. I felt no resolution. Instead I felt that literary trickery had been substituted for an ending to the story. That is why I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5.
Unusual Provence Travel Memoir Dec 9, 2006
High recommendations for an unusual travel book that takes the author and his wife from Amsterdam to Alsace, and from light-hearted banter to more sober reflections. Written with wit, insight, and heart, this is a very enjoyable read!
provence travel memoir with a proxemical punch Dec 2, 2006
If you happen to be one, then, really, what better, more necessary time to be a travel writer than now? When the current political clime has us in hock--socially, empathetically--to the wider world? When what "they're" thinking and what "we're thinking" is seemingly so dissonant. And yet we know it isn't. And what a great example is this book of what the best travel writing can do.
We can only hope there was some sort of exchange program, that from Europe came someone as equally insightful, with a traveling partner as equally challenging and delightful. The nature of the sublime, the politics of the restaurant barker, melancholy, the availability of cheese; all are touched upon, and in the most poignant way possible.
If Charlie Kaufman rewrote Spoorloos as a romantic comedy; if John Barth got lost, not in the funhouse but in a maze of cobblestone; if a more dashing Albert Brooks drove his Winnebago through the south of France, you'd get Eating Europe. Highly recommended.
Memoir of the creative process Nov 27, 2006
A professor of creative writing sets out on his university's dime to tour Europe and deliver a promised manuscript. Unfortunately there is no manuscript, not even an idea for one really, and Volkmer and his companion -- his wife -- are bantering but not communicating. America has invaded Iraq, France is being reviled and the Volkmers, in slow meltdown, land in Provence. Eating Europe is the result; a memoir of the creative process, the renewed flowering of a marriage and a world that saw the follies of Iraq long before the rest of us. A good read.