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.

Friday, January 25, 2013


These cars lost their blythe spirit when they had those monster black bumpers slapped on them in 1974. This car which I'd guess in 1967, would have had the slender chrome bumpers, but even these have been deleted, which makes the car look ever more nimble. MGB-GT was an unfortunate name; it sounded like an acronym for one of the secret police services in the Stalin-era Soviet Union. The owner of this car, I notice, has gotten rid of the "BGT" on the badge in back, leaving just MG. That British Racing Green always works. There's a story called "smell of smoke" in my upcoming story collection (Travelling Light, House of Anansi, May 2013) that is about learning to drive in an MGB, and a few other things, too.


  1. " MGB-GT "is also a the name of a great Richard Thompson song

    " Oh my MGB-GT she's a runner now ... MGB -GT "

    Along with the Triumph Stag one of the two most under appreciated of the British classics

  2. Looking forward to your piece on learning to drive in the MGB. Under a sweltering Alabama sun and my father's watchful scrutiny I struggled with the stiff throttle and tree climbing first gear of his '63. Turns out that was easy compared to my driver's test administered on the road by a 300 lb Alabama State Trooper. Dad was 6'4" and could slide easily in and out of the deceptively lenghthy confines of the "B". Not so for the girth of my donut-fed trooper who tried to thwart the teast by questioning whether the car was street legal. His Stanley tape confirmed the Morris Garage's creation was legit and he was forced, literally, inside. I passed in what proved to be a shortened version of the standard meandering road test around my hometown.