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Eating Europe: A Meta-Nonfiction Love Story
Writing Travel Series
Edited by Jeanne Moskal
Information and Pricing
1-932559-69-8 ($18.00; £11.00; paperback); © 2006 by Parlor Press. 253 pages with illustrations, notes, and bibliography
Other Formats Available
1-932559-70-1 ($34.00; £20.00 Cloth); 1-932559-71-X ($16.00; £9.00 Adobe)
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“And don’t you dare set me up as some kind of a snippy foil just for the sake of narrative exposition unless you say how smart I am and mention my kicky new hair cut.”
My wife Janet is really smart and has a kicky new hair cut.
Eating Europe: A Meta-Nonfiction Love Story is travel writing in its most hilarious, poignant, and consequential form. It is the year 2000, and Jon has a grant to write about “the Euro-transitional era.” From Amsterdam to Alsace, the tourist life is good. He and Janet eat and drink and spar with breezy affection while Jon pays scant attention to his project. As they drive on toward southern France, it becomes clear that something has gone very wrong—both in the journey itself, and in the telling of the journey. Jon the author steps in to explain that he had stopped writing for three years. In the meantime, the tragedy of 9/11 and the drum-beat of war have changed everything. Janet has launched into peace activism and spiraled into depression. In the very month of the Iraq invasion, at the height of America’s anti-French hysteria, Jon goes to France to try to the finish the book. But the ground beneath his story has shifted. The gloom of the real world bleeds into his writing—where it finds parallels in the pain of personal relationship and in the lies of every claim of “nonfiction.” In the end, Eating Europe strives for reconciliations: the author to his wife, the wife to her character, the author to his work, the work to its genre, America to France.
About the Author
Jon Volkmer has written numerous travel features for newspapers and magazines. He is director of creative writing at Ursinus College, where he teaches travel writing and travel literature. He is an award-winning fiction writer, essayist and poet, with publications in such journals as Parnassus, Prairie Schooner, Texas Review, and Painted Bride Quarterly. He is the author of The Art of Country Grain Elevators, a poetry collection with photographs by Bruce Selyem (Bottom Dog Press.) He holds an MA in Creative Writing from Denver University, and a PhD in English from the University of Nebraska.