The Glimpse Traveler

The Glimpse Traveler

Marianne Boruch
Distribution: World
Publication date: 08/19/2011
ISBN: 978-0-253-00555-7
Bookmark and Share

Available through various retailers

Other formats available:


When she joins a pair of hitchhikers on a trip to California, a young Midwestern woman embarks on a journey about memory and knowledge, beauty and realization. This true story, set in 1971, recounts a fateful, nine-day trip into the American counterculture that begins on a whim and quickly becomes a mission to unravel a tragic mystery. The narrator’s path leads her to Berkeley, San Francisco, Mill Valley, Big Sur, and finally to an abandoned resort motel, now become a down-on-its-luck commune in the desert of southern Colorado. Neither a memoir about private misery, nor a shocking exposé of life in a turbulent era, The Glimpse Traveler describes with wry humor and deep feeling what it was like to witness a peculiar and impossibly rich time.

Author Bio

Marianne Boruch, a poet, is Professor of English at Purdue University. She has published several poetry collections and two books of essays, and her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Nation, and elsewhere. She has won two Pushcart Prizes, the Parnassus Terrence DePres Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.


“From its first page The Glimpse Traveler launches us on a trajectory—an On The Road-style westward-ho picaresque journey through 1971 American culture—Berkeley, Big Sur, Esalen, communes galore, and even normality, in all its strangeness. Marianne Boruch is a bona-fide story teller, and the episodes are unobtrusively salted with the narator's curious, wry, deeply intelligent and lyrical meditations about love, selves, art, beauty and knowability. The Glimpse Traveler is a wise, vulnerable, perfectly configured piece of literature, and a great read as well.”
 — Tony Hoagland

“Marianne takes off into the unknown with $10, carrying her begging bowl and having the artist’s faith that it will be filled with story. She never questions it. She’s curious, and she follows that curiosity. The universe doesn’t disappoint.”
 — Susan Neville, author of Sailing the Inland Sea

“I have not seen another nonfiction book that offers such a perceptive, engaging, intimate chronicle of the early 1970s, the road-weary hippie hitchhikers, the anti-war sentiment, the dope-induced haze. Boruch . . . captures this very specific, significant time and place with exquisite clarity and lyric detail and description.”
 — Dinty Moore, author of Between Panic and Desire

“The Glimpse Traveler is a wild romp into the wild romp of the 1971, trippy, establishment-hating past, with all the accoutrements: hitchhiking, hippie vans, communes, Esalen, nude sun-bathing, hot-tubbing, bong-hitting—you name it, Marianne Boruch has got it covered. Hilarious satire, tender coming-of-age-making-of-a-poet memoir, bursting with dazzling language and marvelous characters. A stunning book!”
 — Karen Brennan, author of Being With Rachel

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.