Peter LaSalle’s essay collection The City at Three P.M.: Writing, Reading, and Traveling is now available.
In The City at Three P.M.: Writing, Reading, and Traveling, award-winning fiction writer Peter LaSalle offers eleven startlingly original personal essays dealing with his longtime quest for world travel of the sort that might be called literary errands.
The range of offbeat experiences is wide—from driving recklessly across the county when young to seek out Saul Bellow in Chicago, to settling in for long evenings at a pub in Dublin with Christy Brown, the acclaimed Irish author afflicted with cerebral palsy who typed with his toes and was the subject of the movie My Left Foot.
In Buenos Aires, LaSalle senses metaphysical transport while investigating Borges’s work; in Cameroon, he attends the wonderful opening of a small bookstore; in Hollywood, he finds himself caught in a crazy mob scene while researching the work of 1930s master American novelist and screenwriter Nathanael West; in Tunisia, he follows in the footsteps of Flaubert at the ruins of ancient Carthage; in Paris, he tries to determine just what exactly defines the uncanny vision of the French when it comes to celebrating American writers like Poe and Faulkner well before they were suitably honored in their homeland. And those are just some of the adventures.
Having first appeared in distinguished publications here and abroad, including The Best American Travel Writing, these are beautifully crafted pieces, heartfelt, honest, observant, and often moving toward genuine transcendence. Overall they conjure up those fine moments when travel intersects with the important role of literature in our lives, yielding writing entirely unique and satisfying.