Jennifer Wilson, author of the Linn Area Reads 2014 selection “Running Away to Home: Our Family’s Journey to Croatia in Search of Who We Are, Where We Came From, and What Really Matters,” will read from her work on Saturday, March 29, at 3 pm in Whipple Auditorium at the downtown library.
Wilson is an Iowa native and travel writer who has spent the past 15 years writing and traveling. “Running Away to Home” received the Best Nonfiction of 2011 Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the Emerging Iowa Author Award in 2012.
Booklist had this to say about her book:
In thinking about her suburban life, epitomized by refereeing two arguing kids in a Target shopping cart whilst balancing a Starbucks, Wilson thinks: “If this is the American dream, it sorta sucks.” To refocus her family and connect with ancestors, she uproots her Iowa household and relocates to the mountainous, two-road village of Mrkopalj, Croatia. For the next four months, they adjust to the Balkan speed of life, in which rooms scheduled for completion in four days remain unfinished for weeks, meals of meat come with a side of meat, a language of consonants is marked with guttural accents, and they discover what they’d lost in the melee of their breakneck American lives: family. Wilson’s memoir isn’t so much about assimilating to Croatian culture as it is about finding family and, therefore, acceptance in unlikely places. A fun-filled, revealing peek into the Croatian countryside nevertheless, it will be enjoyed by travelogue lovers and admirers of Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence (1989) and Frances Maye’s Under the Tuscan Sun (1996).—Katharine Frank
Linn Area Reads is a program of the Metro Library Network, which is made up of the Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha Public Libraries. All Linn Area Reads events are free and open to the public. To register for the event, click here or call the Cedar Rapids Public Library at 319-261-READ.