Synopses & Reviews
This collection offers two dozen essays and sketches about one of the passions of Salter's life, travel, a subject beloved by writers across the centuries. Over twenty years of skiing, hiking, climbing from Colorado to Japan to the Tyrol, from Austria and Switzerland to Germany and France Salter is an engaging companion, sharing his great enthusiasm and adventures.
James Salter's novels and volumes of memoir have been widely celebrated and he is now recognized as one of America's most important writers. Susan Sontag once remarked, "[Salter] is among the very few North American writers all of whose work I want to read, whose as yet unpublished books I wait for impatiently."
"Short essays by novelist, short story author and prose stylist Salter (Last Night) explore his lifelong romance with Europe and Japan. These elegiac pieces recall his earliest travels as a soldier in WWII, when 'the doors to the world were now open.' Often his trips were colored by the authors he read; in 1950, he visited war-weary Paris for the first time, and in the essay 'Europe,' he remembers Babel's comparison of a Parisian streetwalker to the heroine of War and Peace: 'Paris was like that,' notes Salter. 'It reminded me of something finer.' In 'Cemeteries,' Salter revisits both high and low resting places, from Paris's Pre Lachaise to prairie graveyards of the American West. Several of the essays chronicle his infatuation with skiing the Alps. 'The Skiing Life' features cameos of famous skiers, as well as a glimpse of Robert Redford as the star of Downhill Racer, for which Salter wrote the screenplay. In 'Roads Seldom Travelled,' Salter and his son tour Japan, transformed from the war years; while 'Mishima's Choice' recounts his literary attraction to the Tokyo hotel the Hilltop, 'where all desires are gratified but freedom is complete.' While somewhat dated and worn, these essays showcase Salter's writerly touch." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This is an engaging collection for sophisticated travel mavens who want to learn about obscure and engaging travel destinations usually omitted from travel guides." Library Journal
"Brilliant. Sentence for sentence, Salter is the master." Richard Ford
"There is scarcely a writer alive who could not learn from his passion and precision of language." Peter Matthiessen
"A beautiful stylist, he handles words as though they were fine marble; all angles and chiseled perfection, in search of the ideal form." Boston Globe
This collection offers two dozen essays and sketches about one of the passions of Salter's lifetravela subject beloved by writers across the centuries. Over twenty years of skiing, hiking, climbing from Colorado to Japan to the Tyrol, from Austria and Switzerland to Germany and France, Salter is an engaging companion sharing his great enthusiasm and adventures.
James Salter's novels and volumes of memoir have been widely celebrated and he is now recognized as one of America's most important writers.
About the Author
James Salter is the author of seven other books, including Burning the Days, Light Years, and Dusk and Other Stories, for which he was given the PEN/Faulkner Award. He is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He divides his time between New York and Colorado.