Samuel Jay KeyserThe travel-averse spouse follows his wife all the way back to himself
“An honest memoir by a reluctant traveler…brings all the advantages of learning about exotic locales without the indignities, discomforts, and occasional terrors of actually visiting them.”
—Steven Pinker, New York Times bestselling author of The Stuff of Thoughts and The Better Angels of our Nature
When he married for the second time, Jay Keyser thought he and his wife would settle down on a bucolic little farm where the cows meet the sea. That was before he found out the awful truth: he had married a travel junkie. While he was envisioning walks along quiet beaches, her sights were set on stakeouts beside Tanzani’s Grumeti River watching crocodiles take down baboons. He didn’t want to come within 6,000 miles of a crocodile, let alone 6 feet. But, somehow, he couldn’t let Nancy go it alone. And so, for the past 20 years, Jay Keyser has followed his wife around this treacherous world. This is his chronicle.
Our reluctant traveler did his level best to understand the extraordinary people and places he visited as well as his internal conflict. He gradually began to accept profound differences between his wife and himself. Although terrified by them, he has learned from his experiences, most especially from an encounter with an angry female gorilla, who offered key insight into marriage and human nature. Jay Keyser learned to stop and smell the elephant dung.
“Wild, entertaining, philosophical, eventful. I identified to the last with the hero.”
—John Harbison, Pulitzer Prize winning composer, Institute Professor of Music, MIT
Samuel Jay Keyser attended George Washington, Oxford and Yale Universities. With a PhD in linguistics from Yale, Keyser taught at Brandeis University, University College, London, the University of Massachusetts is currently Professor Emeritus and Special Assistant to the Chancellor of MIT. He is author of Raising the Dead, The Pond God and Other Stories (winner of a Lee Bennett Hopkins Honor Award), and Mens et Mania: The MIT Nobody Knows. When he isn’t traveling, Keyser plays New Orleans, swing and avant garde jazz trombone in the Boston area.
I Married a Travel Junkie
Samuel Jay Keyser
Paper, 200 pages, 28 photos