When the flower children were flocking to Woodstock, Allison Green was in preschool. As a teenager, yearning for the counterculture movement she felt she just missed, she discovered the writing of Richard Brautigan, finding refuge in his visions of America and refusal to conform. Years later, however, she questions her attachment. Why would a lesbian and feminist writer identify with an author whose most famous work doesn’t even name its female characters? Searching for the answer, Green embarks on a journey retracing Brautigan’s steps in Trout Fishing in America. Along the way, she examines how we relate to the influences in our lives-the ancestors who created us, the past that shaped us, the writers who changed the way we saw the world–and how these elements intertwine to make us who we are.
Ghosts is so seamlessly put together that it’s hard to point to the concrete moments to explain just why I found it so lovely. It’s an ephemeral effect, the words and pages gently building until you suddenly find yourself transported back to the moment that you, too, fell in love with an author for nothing more than their words on the pages. For those us of who call ourselves readers, who maniacally update Goodreads accounts and fill our twitter timelines with authors, our relationship with books is something that can feel religious; The Ghosts Who Travel with Me is a missive for the true believers. Green’s love-letter to the first author she fell in love with is a memoir that will resonate with any who has finished a book and then sighed that the journey had to end.
—Mensah Demary, fourculture
Charming, wry, and elliptical. The Ghosts Who Travel with Me takes readers on a humorous and deeply nostalgic tour of America, and plumbs the depths of “Generation Jones.” Vastly entertaining.
—Diana Abu-Jaber, author of The Language of Baklava and The Birds of Paradise
I can’t think of a wiser, craftier, kinder travel companion than Allison Green. Yet for as much fun as I had reading The Ghosts Who Travel with Me, I also fund myself challenged and provoked and asked to grapple with the legacies of my own ancestors, literary and otherwise.The Ghosts Who Travel with Me will keep you thinking, and feeling, long after you turn the last page.
—Joe Wilkins, winner of the 2014 GLCA New Writers Award for The Mountain and the Fathers