Excerpt: PREPARE FOR DEPARTURE by Mark Chestnut (Vine Leaves Press)

ChestnutM-PrepareForDepartureToday, we have an excerpt from Mark Chestnut‘s new memoir, Prepare for Departure. Due to be published tomorrow, by Vine Leaves Press, here’s the synopsis:

At an early age, award-winning travel writer, Mark Chesnut, learned to dodge discomfort by jumping on the nearest plane, bus or car. That tactic proved especially useful when his single mother made it clear that there was no room for discussion about his gay identity.

Mark, overwhelmed with wanderlust, shoplifts in airports, avoids Southern Baptist salvation, acts like Hillary Clinton in a nursing home, and dresses in drag with his grandfather. He even creates an imaginary airline and flies away.

Now, as 89-year-old Eunice Chesnut moves to a New York City nursing home to be near her son, Mark’s obsession with travel takes a backseat as he embarks on the most emotional journey of all.

More than an end-of-life memoir, more than a collection of childhood memories and travel stories, Prepare for Departure showcases what happens when a permissive mother and a mistfit son face death while revisiting life. Buckle your seatbelts for a witty, touching and darkly humorous trip – through time, loss, forgiveness and acceptance.

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Guest Post: “Travel in Both Directions” by Malka Older

OlderM-AuthorPicInfomocracy takes place across 17 different locations, only one of them in the United States. This is largely a function of the fact that, as someone who worked or consulted for international organizations for years, that was what my life was like. Over one ten month period in 2011-2012, I went to eleven different countries – three of them twice. So it made sense to me, while I was writing, that activists, anarchists, and political operatives working on a global election would have a similar itinerary. Continue reading