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Walking To Listen : 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story At A Time (2017)


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Published: New York : Bloomsbury, 2017
Description:  xviii, 371 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN/ISSN: 9781632867001, 1632867001,
Language:  English

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Walking to Listen

Four thousand miles is a long way to travel, especially on foot. Traveling by car isolates and insulates you from everyone and everything you pass; so Andrew Forsthoefel walks. Newly graduated from college at age 23, Andrew had something to prove, to find and to learn as he made his way across America from Pennsylvania to San Francisco by way of Texas. His parents’ divorce when he was a teenager was a pivotal time in his life, a shadow, a reckoning he needed to address.

While on the road he is frequently surprised by the kindnesses of strangers. Many took him into their home, fed him a meal, or allowed him to camp on their property. By keeping his eyes open, he kept his mind open, meeting people from different cultures, religions, and backgrounds; he listened. And when he was alone, he had the writings of Rilke and Whitman for company.

Hurt walking, urge walking, dream walking, fury walking, scream walking, dance walking, weep walking, why walking, beauty walking – Andrew experienced all of these.

His writing got better as the book goes on. He becames more confident, more introspective, asking different questions of himself and others he meets trying to understand the world around him. Walking to Listen may appeal to those who also read Wild by Cheryl Strayed, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, and Tracks by Robyn Davidson.
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