A Gemma Open Door book
Modern travelers on foot follow wisdom along the Ulster Way
Storytellers, said Walter Benjamin, are descended from one of two tribes: the mariners or the peasants. We revel in the stories of the sailors, with their lure of exotic places and the treasures a mariner brings home. We hearken to the stories of the peasants for a glimmer of the past, best revealed to natives and landed people. Brian Bouldrey, professional vagabond, and his very organized friend Garth, two unlikely mariners, hit dry land with backpacks and point their hiking boots down the Ulster Way. Along the more than 600 miles of Northern Irish mountains, moors, and monuments, they pursue a quest. Among the causeways and caves and publicans’ cups, they seek faraway places revealed by the wisdom that only the peasant can offer.
THE PEASANTS AND THE MARINERS READING GUIDE
Brian Bouldrey is the author of three novels, The Genius of Desire, Love, the Magician and The Boom Economy; the nonfiction books Honorable Bandit: A Walk Across Corsica, Monster: Adventures in American Machismo and The Autobiography Box; and editor of several anthologies. Brian teaches writing at Northwestern University and lives in Chicago. He is Series Editor, Gemma Open Door.
Praise for Honorable Bandit –
“A remarkable achievement. Deeply felt, humorous, and extremely wise, Honorable Bandit takes the reader on a journey across Corsica, but even more takes us on a charged—Dantean, at times—journey that explores the nuanced corners of life: our most intimate infernos, purgatories, and paradisios, all on one island.”
—Tim Miller, 1001 Beds
“Reading Honorable Bandit, you enter not just another country but also the secret door into Brian Bouldrey’s head, and that is the real fun, living inside this wonderful, wonderful writer with his sly humor and infectious tenderness for the world. I didn’t want the book to ever end.”
—Sharman Apt Russell, Hunger: An Unnatural History and An Obsession with Butterflies
“One of the many pleasures of this book is its deceptive humility. Bouldrey reminds us that being human is something we must—and can only—do one thoughtful, measured, grateful step at a time.”
—Rebecca Brown, Excerpts from a Family Medical Dictionary and The End of Youth
The Peasants and the Mariners
Paper, 100 pages
Reading level: 5.9