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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

The City at Three P.M. by Peter LaSalle

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The City at Three P.M. by Peter LaSalle


The City at Three P.M. by Peter LaSalle


Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN: 978-1-938103-20-9

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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.

Praise for The City at Three P.M.

“Armchair travelers and literary types will relish the descriptions of both the author, his travels, and the admired writers.” 

—Library Journal

“LaSalle shows himself to be a smart and open writer with a restless intellect and infectious passion for travel and literature.”

—Publishers Weekly

“These are travel pieces … but they use travel mainly as a portal to literary celebration.”


Praise for Peter LaSalle

“LaSalle’s stories are full of detail, and he knows how to create a sense of place, be it Buenos Aires, Austin, Texas, Paris, or Boston.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tell Borges If You See Him

“Peter LaSalle has worked his way deep into the storytelling place. Serious, anomalous, his narratives are set into motion by the obsessions and perturbations of living. There is no model, no recipe—each world is uniquely known and irresistibly defined.”

—Sven Birkerts, author of Reading Life: Books for the Ages on Tell Borges If You See Him

“LaSalle’s command of the language is admirable, but even more admirable is his moral vision.”

Dallas Times-Herald on Strange Sunlight 

About Peter LaSalle

PETER LaSALLE is the author of several books of fiction, most recently the novel Mariposa’s Song and a story collection, What I Found Out About Her. His essays on literary travel have appeared in magazines and journals such as The Nation, Worldview, Agni, Tin House, and Profils Américans (France), as well as being anthologized in The Best American Travel Writing. He currently divides his time between Austin, TX, where he is a member of the creative writing faculty at the University of Texas, and Narragansett in his native Rhode Island.