Paradoxically, Geoff Dyer begins his attempt to locate America by first traveling to Tahiti. There, he discovers that Gauguin’s vision of it no longer exists – if it ever really did. Can he find the soul of America in its landscapes? Shifting sands blur the boundaries of roads in New Mexico’s White Sands – and Dyer blurs the boundaries of literary form. Is he writing essays or stories? Is his visit to China’s Forbidden City mostly an invention? When a minor stroke briefly limits his eyesight, Dyer struggles with how to respond. The reader is challenged to respond with complexity as Dyer journeys through America in White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World.
Read an excerpt from White Sands.
Photo: Matt Stuart