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When Erin Byrne travels, she lets the journey transforms her. Wings from Victory is a collection of stories about her unique and authentic experiences in France. Some come through serendipity, good fortune, or by accident. But each time, Erin takes the experience, digs deeper and discovers meaning from it. Each story demonstrates in a different way, this idea put forth by Joseph Campbell:The passage of the mythological hero may be overground, incidentally; fundamentally it is inwardinto the depths, where obscure resistances are overcome and long lost powers are revivified.From Cézanne’s studio in Aix-en-Provence to a tiny village in the Jura Mountains, from a tiny bistro on the Left Bank of Paris to a plain high above the Normandy beaches, Erin travels through France collecting stories, characters, tastes and secrets that act as ingredients for change. She learns to trust her intuition after listening to Henri Cartier-Bresson’s advice. After gazing at van Gogh’s self-portrait, Erin finds a way to be more honest.The Introduction presents a gift, wrapped in shiny fuchsia paper, waiting on a table in a café near Saint Sulpice in Paris, just as the place begins to wake up. The book is about the gifts we all glean from our travels, and will inspire readers to unwrap their own images and impressions in a new way.Wings from Victory is arranged in 10 chapters of three stories each, with Introductions which include quotes by many of Erin’s colleagues in the travel writing world, including Tim Cahill, Marcia DeSanctis, Jeff Greenwald, and Larry Habegger. Each Introduction links Erin’s travels through France with deep psychological, spiritual or emotional changes.The first chapter, Les Deux Garçons,” follows Erin’s teenage son Brendan and his friend as they swagger their way through Paris and Normandy. In these stories, they ride the rough rapids of travel and find a way to right their rafts; detect something in a painting that proves the artist achieved his lifetime goal; and are changed to the bones in Normandy. As she takes the new role of observer/photographer, Erin sees her son through a new lens and modifies her style of parenting.In the Characters” chapter, the late George Whitman, proprietor of Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris, presides over his domain; a woman in Normandy emerges from the past to assuage Erin’s grief; and Henri Cartier-Bresson becomes her unlikely mentor. The Tastes of Place” offers French history in a bite of baguette, a glass of ruby-red Bordeaux in the cellar of Château Lafite Rothschild, and a morsel of Jurassic Cheese that tastes of the source of all fromage, all rivers, and all stories. Connections” reveals an unrecognized hunger, a chance to work with writers from all over the world at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, and puts Erin on a windswept plain in
Number of Pages: 291
Series Title: Travelers' Tales
Author: Erin Byrne
Street Date: March 29, 2016
Item Number (DPCI): 248-07-3449
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