Monday, September 24, 2012

Andrew McCarthy Brings The Longest Way Home to Book Passage

Having previously visited Book Passage in conjunction with our annual Travel Writers & Photographers Conference, we are very excited to welcome back author/actor/director Andrew McCarthy as he talks about his new memoir, The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down. This revealing and insightful story tells of how travel helped him become the man he wanted to be. Andrew will be joined by travel writer and Travel Writing Conference chair Don George on Thursday, September 27 at 7pm to discuss The Longest Way Home.

The San Jose Mercury recently spoke with Andrew about his new book. To read the entire article, please click here. Below is an excerpt of the interview, conducted by Jessica Yadegaran:

Q. You started acting at 19. When did you start writing? 
A. I started writing when I started traveling about 10 years ago. I kept a journal and found the writing in it embarrassing and lame. So instead, since I'm an actor, I started writing down scenes from my travels. I found that it stabilized me and kept me grounded. 
Q. Is that how you got into travel writing? 
A. One day in Saigon, a young guy on a scooter offered to show me around, so I climbed on the back of his bike. I wrote down what happened the day we spent together, and it seemed to capture the essence of my experience in Saigon in a way my journal couldn't. I did that for years, until one day I met the editor of National Geographic Traveler magazine and asked him to give me a shot. 
Q. Where did the idea for this book come from? 
A. I was sitting in the back of a cab on my way to the airport going to Patagonia. My fiancee and I had just decided to get married, and I was so sad to be leaving her, I was practically in tears, but I was also thrilled to be going. I was like, "What is the deal with this?" On the road I took this issue to explore instead of a book.
The Longest Way Home was published by Free Press on September 18. Reviews have been extremely positive, including author Cheryl Strayed's (Wild, Tiny Beautiful Things) review for The New York Times. Read the full review here and an excerpt below:
McCarthy’s at his best when he’s describing his feeling of being at home in foreign worlds. His prose shines with intelligence and intimacy when he’s elucidating the challenges of hiking in the dense jungle of a Costa Rican national park or the pleasures of wandering in a Peruvian market: “The small stalls, one after the next, are lined with different herbs in bags or bottles. There are wooden bowls filled with roots and twigs. There’s abuta bark, for menstrual cramps; the vine of una del gato, for cancer; . . . the aphrodisiac maca root, to be boiled and made into tea. ‘Muy efectivo,’ the creased woman on a stool beside the display assures me.” In these solitary scenes, he lets the reader walk so closely beside him we feel as if we’re walking through that market and jungle too.
Don't miss what is sure to an incredible evening of discussion and reflection with Andrew McCarthy! Join us Thursday, September 27 at 7pm in Corte Madera, and be sure to order your copy of The Longest Way Home.

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