White Sands: Book summary and reviews of White Sands by Geoff Dyer

White Sands

Experiences from the Outside World

by Geoff Dyer

White Sands by Geoff Dyer X
White Sands by Geoff Dyer
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About this book

Book Summary

From "one of our most original writers" (Kathryn Schulz) comes an expansive and exacting book - firmly grounded, but elegant, witty, and always inquisitive - about travel, unexpected awareness, and the questions we ask when we step outside ourselves.

Geoff Dyer's perennial search for tranquility, for "something better," continues in this series of fascinating and seemingly unrelated pilgrimages - with a tour guide who is in fact not a tour guide at the Forbidden City in Beijing, with friends at the Lightning Field in New Mexico, with a hitchhiker picked up near a prison at White Sands, and with "a dream of how things should have been" at the Watts Towers in Los Angeles. 

Weaving stories about places to which he has recently traveled with images and memories that have persisted since childhood, Dyer tries "to work out what a certain place - a certain way of marking the landscape - means; what it's trying to tell us; what we go to it for." One of the essays takes its title from Gaugin's masterwork, and asks the same questions: Where do we come from, what are we, where are we going? The answers are elusive: in French Polynesia, where he travels to write about Gaugin and the lure of the exotic, when he visits the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to see the masterpiece in person only to be told it is travelling, when he and his wife journey to Norway to see, but end up not seeing, the Northern Lights. But at home in California, after a medical event that makes Dyer see everything in a different way, he may finally have found what he's been searching for.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A mesmerizing compendium that reflects on time, place, and just what, exactly, we are doing here." - Kirkus

"Most of these pieces are distinguished by Dyer's humorous insights and caustic wit, but the book's concluding essay, "Stroke of Luck" (which recounts his temporary loss of vision after he suffers a slight stroke), is more evocative than the others, leaving the reader to appreciate the author's trained eye for details of the world's more far-flung locales." - Publishers Weekly

"Where do we come from, where are we going, and when we get there, what, specifically, defines a particular place? These are the questions Dyer asks in a series of essays ostensibly about travel but actually much deeper." - Library Journal

This information about White Sands shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Geoff Dyer Author Biography

Geoff Dyer was born in Cheltenham, England, in 1958. He was educated at the local Grammar School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He is currently living in Los Angeles where he is Writer in Residence at USC.

He is the author of four novels: Paris Trance, The Search, The Colour of Memory, and Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi; a critical study of John Berger, Ways of Telling; two collections of essays, Anglo-English Attitudes and Working the Room; and many genre-defying books: But Beautiful, The Missing of the Somme, Out of Sheer Rage, Yoga For People Who Can't Be Bothered To Do It, The Ongoing Moment, Zona, about Andrei Tarkovsky's film StalkerAnother Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H W Bush and White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World. He ...

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Link to Geoff Dyer's Website

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