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Walking to Listen : 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time
by Andrew Forsthoefel


Overview -

Life is fast, and I've found it's easy to confuse the miraculous for the mundane, so I'm slowing down, way down, in order to give my full presence to the extraordinary that infuses each moment and resides in every one of us.

At 23, Andrew Forsthoefel walked out the back door of his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, with a backpack, an audio recorder, his copies of Whitman and Rilke, and a sign that read "Walking to Listen." He had just graduated from Middlebury College and was ready to begin his adult life, but he didn't know how.  Read more...


 
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More About Walking to Listen by Andrew Forsthoefel
 
 
 
Overview

Life is fast, and I've found it's easy to confuse the miraculous for the mundane, so I'm slowing down, way down, in order to give my full presence to the extraordinary that infuses each moment and resides in every one of us.

At 23, Andrew Forsthoefel walked out the back door of his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, with a backpack, an audio recorder, his copies of Whitman and Rilke, and a sign that read "Walking to Listen." He had just graduated from Middlebury College and was ready to begin his adult life, but he didn't know how. So he decided he'd walk. And listen. It would be a cross-country quest for guidance, and everyone he met would be his guide.

Walking toward the Pacific, he faced an Appalachian winter and a Mojave summer. He met beasts inside: fear, loneliness, doubt. But he also encountered incredible kindness from strangers. Thousands shared their stories with him, sometimes confiding their prejudices, too. Often he didn't know how to respond. How to find unity in diversity? How to stay connected, even as fear works to tear us apart? He listened for answers to these questions, and to the existential questions every human must face, and began to find that the answer might be in listening itself.

Ultimately, it's the stories of others living all along the roads of America that carry this journey and sing out in a hopeful, heartfelt book about how a life is made, and how our nation defines itself on the most human level.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781632867001
  • ISBN-10: 1632867001
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publish Date: March 2017
  • Page Count: 400
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.63 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Travel > United States - General
Books > Sports & Recreation > Walking

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-08-08
  • Reviewer: Staff

In 2011, at 23, after his Watson fellowship proposal to study the ways indigenous communities “guided their young people into adulthood” was rejected, and after he lost his job on a fishing boat, Forsthoefel packed his bags, brought books by Whitman and Rilke, and walked down the train tracks near his mother’s Philadelphia home. Then, he kept walking, all the way to the Pacific. In this moving and deeply introspective memoir, Forsthoefel writes about the uncertainties, melodramas, ambiguities, and loneliness of youth while describing his trip, reaching out to strangers as he walks south toward Selma, and then west across Navajo lands, Death Valley, and the Sierras. Along the way, he meets widowers, waitresses, ranchers, veterans, reverends, mystics, glass blowers, delusional walkers, firefighters, Navajo drummers, artists, new fathers, and families who take him into their homes, sharing their rich and varied perspectives—and advice on living. Each conversation offers a glimpse into the vast range of American life. Forsthoefel’s walk becomes a meditation on vulnerability, trust, and the tragedy of suburban and rural alienation. His radical openness to the variety of American experience includes unflinching encounters with lingering racism in Alabama, for instance. Forsthoefel’s conversation with America is fascinating, terrifying, mundane, and at times heartbreaking, but ultimately transformative and wise. Agent: Daniel Greenberg, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary. (Apr.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews