Stranger On A Train: Daydreaming and Smoking Around America

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9781860499951: Stranger On A Train: Daydreaming and Smoking Around America
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In spite of the fact that her idea of travel is to stay home with the phone off the hook, Jenny Diski takes a trip around the perimeter of the USA by train. Somewhat reluctantly she meets all kinds of characters, all bursting with stories to tell and finds herself brooding about the marvellously familiar landscape of America, half-known already through film and television. Like the pulse of the train over the rails, the theme of the dying pleasures of smoking thrums through the book, along with reflections on the condition of solitude and the nature of friendship and memories triggered by her past times in psychiatric hospitals. Cutting between her troubled teenaged years and contemporary America, the journey becomes a study of strangers, strangeness and estrangement - from oneself, as well as from the world.

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About the Author:

Jenny Diski was born in 1947 in London where she has lived most of her life. She recently moved to Cambridge. She is the author of eight novels and an acclaimed memoir and her journalism has appeared in the Mail on Sunday, the Observer and the London Review of Books, amongst others.

From Publishers Weekly:

"I am not a travel writer in any reasonable sense of the word," Diski confesses. "I do not feel compelled to bring the world to people, or meet interesting characters, or enlarge my circle of acquaintance. I just want to drift in the actual landscape of my destination." Despite the disclaimer, the British novelist (Only Human) does all of the above in this eloquent exploration of the psyche America's and her own. The work is divided into two parts. Journey One begins aboard a transatlantic cargo ship where Diski is among a handful of passengers en route to Savannah, Ga. From there, she takes Amtrak to Arizona. Journey Two takes place a year later as Diski circumnavigates the U.S. from New York's Penn Station to Portland, Ore., and back, stopping in the suburbs of Albuquerque to stay in the backyard trailer of a friend from the first sojourn. As in the Hitchcock thriller of (almost) the same title, strangers whom Diski befriends in the smoking sections, or "sin bins," of the trains divulge the details of their lives; Diski, however, plays it close to the vest, sharing intimacies with readers only about her difficult childhood, struggles with substance abuse and more. "I became remarkably unhappy at having been chosen to survive," she recollects after her first trip, comparing the experience of saying goodbye to her travel mates to leaving the psych ward of England's Lady Chichester Hospital at age 14. As she did in Skating to Antarctica: A Journey to the End of the World (1998), Diski again blurs the borders between traditional travelogue and memoir to create a transcendent work.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780312422622: Stranger on a Train: Daydreaming and Smoking Around America with Interruptions

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0312422628 ISBN 13:  9780312422622
Publisher: Picador, 2003
Softcover

9781860498916: Stranger on a Train

Virago..., 2002
Hardcover

9780312283520: Stranger on a Train: Daydreaming and Smoking Around America with Interruptions

Picador, 2002
Hardcover

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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In spite of the fact that her idea of travel is to stay home with the phone off the hook, Jenny Diski takes a trip around the perimeter of the USA by train. Somewhat reluctantly she meets all kinds of characters, all bursting with stories to tell and finds herself brooding about the marvellously familiar landscape of America, half-known already through film and television. Like the pulse of the train over the rails, the theme of the dying pleasures of smoking thrums through the book, along with reflections on the condition of solitude and the nature of friendship and memories triggered by her past times in psychiatric hospitals. Cutting between her troubled teenaged years and contemporary America, the journey becomes a study of strangers, strangeness and estrangement - from oneself, as well as from the world. Seller Inventory # AWC9781860499951

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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In spite of the fact that her idea of travel is to stay home with the phone off the hook, Jenny Diski takes a trip around the perimeter of the USA by train. Somewhat reluctantly she meets all kinds of characters, all bursting with stories to tell and finds herself brooding about the marvellously familiar landscape of America, half-known already through film and television. Like the pulse of the train over the rails, the theme of the dying pleasures of smoking thrums through the book, along with reflections on the condition of solitude and the nature of friendship and memories triggered by her past times in psychiatric hospitals. Cutting between her troubled teenaged years and contemporary America, the journey becomes a study of strangers, strangeness and estrangement - from oneself, as well as from the world. Seller Inventory # AWC9781860499951

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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group. Condition: New. 2004. New Ed. Paperback. * Follows the prize winning memoir, Skating to Antarctica. * The story of her troubled teenage years in and out of psychiatric institutions intercut with a contemporary tale of travelling across America by train, surrounded by strangers. Num Pages: 288 pages. BIC Classification: 1KBB; BG. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 202 x 129 x 20. Weight in Grams: 202. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9781860499951

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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, 2004. Condition: New. 2004. New Ed. Paperback. * Follows the prize winning memoir, Skating to Antarctica. * The story of her troubled teenage years in and out of psychiatric institutions intercut with a contemporary tale of travelling across America by train, surrounded by strangers. Num Pages: 288 pages. BIC Classification: 1KBB; BG. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 202 x 129 x 20. Weight in Grams: 202. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9781860499951

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