by Peter Ferry; Harcourt; $24
This entertaining debut novel by Evanston, Ill.-based writer Peter Ferry has a little bit of everything. It features travel writing, of course, and it sports a sort of love story at its center — if you can call the protagonist’s obsession with a dead woman a kind of love. It’s a murder mystery at its heart-plot, and finally it’s a self-conscious, meta-fictional tale orated by a teacher making up a story for his students. Try and fathom this puzzle: Peter Ferry really is a teacher in Evanston, and one can imagine him honing this very story in front of his students, polishing it over the course of many years. Ferry really is a travel writer, having published in the Chicago Tribune
and the Chicago Sun-Times
. Write what you know, they say, and the sum of Travel Writing
’s parts amount to a darn good yarn, the kind of book you can take anywhere — to a beach, on a bus, to a park or sit at home, biting your nails, wondering what’s going to happen next. Look for Peter Ferry’s upcoming visit to Indianapolis, slated for Sept. 20 at Big Hat Books.