Stranger on a Train by Jenny Diski
Daydreaming and Smoking Around America with Interruptions

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Synopsis

The book about America de Tocqueville might have written had he spent some time in the nation’s smoking sections

Using two cross-country trips on Amtrak as her narrative vehicles, British writer Jenny Diski connects the humming rails taking her into the heart of America with the track-like scars leading back to her own past. As she did in the highly acclaimed Skating to Antarctica, Diski has created a seamless and seemingly effortless amalgam of reflection and revelation. Stranger on a Train is a combination of travelogue and memoir, a penetrating portrait of America and Americans that is at the same time an unsparing look in the mirror. Traveling and remembering both involve confronting strangers—those we have just met and those we once were—and acknowledging the play of proximity and separation. Diski has written a moving, courageous, and deeply rewarding book about who we are, and the landscapes through which we have passed to get there.

 

About Jenny Diski

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Jenny Diski’s previous nonfiction books include Skating to Antarctica and The Dream Mistress. Her most recent novel is Only Human. She lives in Cambridge, England.
 
Published September 17, 2013 by Picador. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Education & Reference, War, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Stranger on a Train

Kirkus Reviews

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A British writer in search of solitude takes two epic train journeys across the US, only to find herself inexorably drawn into a community of strangers.

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The Guardian

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Diski is more disconcerted than pleased by the smart smoking compartment on the Lake Shore Limited and pines for the squalor of the Sunset Limited, which was 'entirely correction-facility grey: the lino floor, the dull-putty coloured walls and the moulded polystyrene chairs...

Aug 17 2002 | Read Full Review of Stranger on a Train: Daydream...

The Guardian

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Stranger on a Train by Jenny Diski 336pp, Virago, £15.99 "I travel in order to keep still," announces Jenny Diski at the beginning of her train journey around the perimeter of the United States.

Aug 17 2002 | Read Full Review of Stranger on a Train: Daydream...

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