This Trans-Atlantic collection of writing from writers who ride, is more than just that. What Jeremy Kroeker has created with this volume, is a terrific introduction to the breadth of literature that exists within the travelling motorcycle community. It provides a platform for readers to acquaint new writers, regardless of how long they may have been producing text, and it honestly links two communities of overland travellers that for too long have been separated by a body of water. The irony is paramount.
Writers like Christopher P Baker, Ted Bishop, Mark Richardson and Jeremy Kroeker himself, are not commonly known in the UK and should be, creating as they do wonderfully engaging work. It seems remarkable that the written word inspires us to ride around the world and yet the words themselves don’t seem to have the same mobility in what we are told is an electronically interconnected world.
There is one exception of course, the author of the Foreword to this collection, Ted Simon, whose publications have deservedly reached far and wide, through exemplary content and international publication. But few large publishers take risks now and most are unwilling to step outside their content comfort zone, so it’s left to small independents who can never achieve the necessary global distribution. So as an English speaking community we find ourselves divided. And not this time, by the common language.
Yet the message is the same – that travel broadens the mind and that it’s the excitement of human interaction that really makes a trip, builds personality and breaks socially constructed barriers.
There are some book extracts here, but there is also new writing from young and old, and aside from great entertainment, this collection acts as a terrific pointer to further explore work of the 18 included authors. The last of the 26 stories is undoubtedly the newest and is written by the youngest, Natalie Ellis Barros, just 23. Age is no barrier to either riding or writing, but getting the exposure can be. At Overland we do our best, but here’s a title to leave in the smallest room, to dip into and from which to plan many more purchases. And journeys.
Published by Oscillator Press (2015)