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The Roads Taken: Travels Through Americas Literary Landscapes (Literary Roads Series) Paperback – March, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After a conversation with his cousin about the carefree travels of Beat writer Jack Kerouac, Setterberg ( Beyond Profit ) embarked on a journey across the U.S. to seven locales that had inspired well-known works of literature. His entertaining memoir of his own time on the road details the differences between his experiences and his expectations, which were based on the books he read in preparation for his journey. Included is a visit to Nebraska inspired by the novels of Willa Cather, a stop in New Orleans--where African American writer Zora Neale Hurston studied voodoo--and a search for the moose that Thoreau described when he camped in the Maine woods. Setterberg's account of mistaking his companion for a rampaging moose is hilarious. This is thought-provoking reading for fans of travel, literature and humor.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this literary travelog, Setterberg (Toxic Nation, Wiley, 1993) presents essays on Willa Cather's Nebraska, Larry McMurtry's Texas-both real and mythical-Thoreau's Maine woods, Hemingway's Michigan wilderness in "Big Two-Hearted River," and Twain's Virginia City. As he visits each place, Setterberg incorporates his observations with the different authors' words. His chapter on Zora Neale Hurston's New Orleans and black life in the rural South is especially good. An error in fact that has Antonin Dvorak spending two weeks in Nebraska writing "The New World Symphony" (it was Iowa) along with some generalizations ("the Great Lakes are dead") do not limit the quality of this work. Recommended for travel or literary collections in public libraries.
David Schau, Kanawha Cty. P.L., Charleston, W.V.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Literary Roads Series
  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Interlink Pub Group Inc (March 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566561833
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566561839
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,279,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Fred Setterberg is the author of Lunch Bucket Paradise (Heyday Books) and The Roads Taken, the coauthor with Lonny Shavelson of Under the Dragon and Toxic Nation, and the editor of Travelers' Tales America.

His essays, stories, and journalism have appeared in The Southern Review, The Iowa Review, The New York Times, The Nation, The Utne Reader, The Chicago Reader, The Boston Phoenix, and scores of other national and regional magazines. Fred earned his B.A. in English at the University of California at Berkeley and his M.A. in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. He is a former staff writer for the East Bay Express and has been a visiting writer with the Chautauqua Writers Center. He lives in Oakland, California.


Fred's writing has won an NEA fellowship; the Faulkner-Wisdom Essay Prize; fiction awards from Solstice Literary Magazine, The Florida Review, and Literal Latte; the national arts writing prize from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies; feature-writing awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association; and a citation from Project Censor for one of the year's best "under-reported" stories for his coverage of U.S. military policy in Central America in Mother Jones.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jambo on April 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you love to travel and love to read, this is a fun book of essays to while away the hours while sitting in your comfy spot planning your next trip.
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