Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.


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Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Downtown Hutchinson, Kansas

The writer Josh Barkan suggested I go have look at Hutchinson, Kansas. So on a bright October afternoon, I did. Interesting town. I suspect there was a huge boom there when the price of wheat was high, from the 1900s to 1929. Hutchinson was a railroad town when that meant something, and probably a regional banking center. Wheat farmers need banks. Looks like during the last eighty years the town's ambitions have sort of collapsed; everything seems a little damaged, shrunken. Still, those proud high buildings: startling for a town its size. Downtown has somewhat revived, recently--there are bookstores, and antique shops. But it's just hanging on. The neighborhood streets and alleys, which I'll cover in another post,  reminded me of the mise en scene of Arthur Penn's 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde: overgrown back alleys and weathered frame houses could have been a Depression-era town anywhere on the southern prairie or plains, Missouri to Texas.

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