Travel Journalist’s Literary Book Explores What Is Wondrous and What Is Horrific About Life in Our Time
Travel journalist and novelist Lee Foster’s new literary book asks, “Is our era both the most wondrous and the most horrific time ever to be alive in the history of the human race?”
The book is Travels in an American Imagination: The Spiritual Geography of Our Time, by Lee Foster.
In matters small and large, Foster looks at his life as a typical modern person and finds many wondrous elements.
A lovely leaf of nutritious baby spinach rests on his plate. Medical intervention for cancer has saved and extended his life. A satellite sent by his species to beyond the solar system hurtles into the unknown.
But Foster also sees horrific aspects of life today.
Massive numbers of species have been forced into extinction. Suitcase-sized technology allows a nuclear terrorist the ability to wipe out whole cultures. Millions of people suffer from hunger, political strife, and AIDS infection.
Foster believes that life today is defined by conflicting positive and negative feelings in the average modern person. Life is both more wondrous and more horrific than in any previous era. He feels that people today can find an inner peace only if they can balance these conflicts in their sensibilities. Balance occurs when a person achieves a deeper understanding of the current human drama.
The book consists of 25 short essays, each with a photo illustration, in which Foster evokes a place in his worldwide travels and then raises a question about the spiritual geography of our era.
For example, the chapter “Bali: The Search for Community” starts with Foster’s observation of some close-knit village dancers in Bali and then meditates on the quality of community, or lack of community, in his life as a modern man in Berkeley, California.
Foster views modern life with an uncompromising directness. In his chapter “Brazil: The Decline of the Environment,” he describes the experience of walking in a perishing rain forest with its irreversible loss of species.
However, Foster feels that a modern person must also acknowledge many astonishing and positive aspects of life in this era. His chapter “Canaveral: The Adventure of Space Flight,” for instance, describes being in Florida at the space launch site, celebrating one of the major achievements of mankind in our time.
The author finds much that is wondrous in the mundane details of everyday life. The book is a highly personal decription of something about which Foster is truly expert, which is his own life, thought, and feelings. Yet he is not interested in anything eccentric or accidental about his life. What interests him is how his life and thoughts parallel those of the Everyman and Everywoman of our time.
How can a person cope with all the realities of modern life? Foster’s perspective in the book’s Introduction is: “If I look squarely at life, with unflinching clarity, yet with sufficient imagination, striking a balanced perspective, perhaps only then can I continue living in a healthy, constructive manner and not be overwhelmed by pessimism and despair.”
The reader is encouraged and challenged to make a similar assessment of his or her life.
The book also manifests some innovations in modern publishing. It is available as a printed book, as a downloadable pdf file, and as a pdf on a CD. All modes are priced at $14.95.
A consumer considering the book can also sample three chapters before buying by looking at a pdf atwww.fostertravel.com/fosterbooksample.pdf.
Bookstores and libraries can also order through Baker and Taylor.
Title: Travels in an American Imagination: The Spiritual Geography of Our Time
Author: Lee Foster
Price: $14.95 as a book, downloadable pdf, or as a pdf on a CD
Publisher: Foster Travel Publishing
Distribution: Available on Amazon, in bookstores through Baker and Taylor, and direct from www.fostertravel.com.
Pages: 168, 26 color photos
Binding: Perfect bound, trade paperback
Bookstore Category–Travel Essays/Travel Literature/Travel Narrative: An award-winning travel writer explores what is wondrous and what is horrific about life in our times.
About the Author:
Lee Foster began his publishing career with a novel about the Vietnam era, The Message of April Fools, and a literary memoir about growing up in a Minnesota America at mid century, Just 25 Cents and Three Wheaties Boxtops. He was part of the energy-efficient-living/organic gardening movement in California, which he described in his book Backyard Farming. In recent decades he has been known for his award-winning travel writing/photography. He was the first travel writer ever to publish profitably in the new electronic online scene, starting in 1983 with CompuServe, a contract that continued until 2001. Foster has won seven Lowell Thomas Awards, including being named Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year (Silver Winner). His Foster Travel Publishing website (www.fostertravel.com) presents for consumers and for content buyers more than 200 articles, with photos, on his worldwide travels. As a travel photographer, he has images in more than 225 Lonely Planet books. His most recent Lowell Thomas Award was for a travel guidebook Northern California History Weekends(Globe Pequot).