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Every Stranger a God: Hiking the English Moors - Softcover

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9781887043618: Every Stranger a God: Hiking the English Moors
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Set in northern England's Lake District, Dales, and Yorkshire moors, Every Stranger a God is a travel book with a literary twist. A middle-aged English teacher hikes the 192-mile-long Coast to Coast trail, peopling it with characters from books. Literary classics provide leitmotifs for each day of the adventure. When the trip begins, the narrator is as misanthropic as Gulliver. Once she lands in England, interacts with locals, and absorbs the scenery, she is feeling more sanguine, but she's still haunted by her resemblance to both Frankenstein and his monster. The cast of characters whom she meets or imagines includes Gollum, Harry Potter, Emily Dickinson, Holden Caulfield, Jane Eyre, D.H. Lawrence, William Shakespeare, Homer, and many others.

The simple routines of hiking begin to slow down the walker's mental chatter, bringing a balm to her spirit. She continues to ponder life's mysteries, but her characteristic black humor gradually morphs into its frothier cousins--light irony and delightful paradox. She develops a strong camaraderie with walkers along the way, reveling in their individual quirks and regional characteristics. Reflecting on how women's needs change as they age, the narrator experiences contentment in her solo--but sociable--mode of travel.

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About the Author:
Jill Franks is a professor of English and Film Studies whose scholarly books treat subjects such as film comedians, the British women's movement, and modernists' work on islands. This is her first non-scholarly work, yet her vocation is never far off the page: she enjoys literature too much to leave it out. After completing the Camino de Santiago in 2012 she vowed to hike across a different country every spring. She managed five more treks-across southern France, the Netherlands, England, Ireland, and Scotland-before her bad knee and the urge to write got in the way. She does, however, plan to rise like the phoenix and find one day another trail, another country.

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  • PublisherWhite River Press
  • Publication date2019
  • ISBN 10 1887043616
  • ISBN 13 9781887043618
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages226
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