Sunday, August 12, 2012
August 12, 2012: Crowd-Sourcing Americans Abroad
[This week we’re hosting a Chinese exchange student as part of a program at the boys’ elementary school, so I thought I’d return the favor and focus in the week’s series on interesting representations of Americans abroad. This is the next crowd-sourced post, drawn from responses and suggestions from readers and other American Studiers. Add yours below!]
S. Thomas Summers responds to the satire and Twain post by noting that “Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels contains some biting satire as well.” Later in the week, he nominates American Werewolf in London as another horror film about naïve Americans abroad.
Going back to a prior crowd-sourced post, on American Studies beach reads, Patricia Vandever (one of my high school English teachers and mentors!) highlights a couple with ties to this week’s series too: “Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone, which is initially set in Ethiopia and follows a medical family’s joys and disappointments–heart wrenching at times, but it’s the kind of novel that pains you to finish it. I also adore anything by Alexander McCall Smith. He has a new series out called Corduroy Mansions that is delightful.”
And if I can add one more beach read nomination of my own, my most recently completed book and one of the first I’ve read for pleasure in far too long: Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding. Harbach’s book isn’t about Americans abroad, but it does owe a great deal to one of the greatest American novels and one that focuses on a community of Americans away from their homelands: Moby-Dick.
Next series starts tomorrow!
PS. Any other responses or thoughts on this topic? Representations of Americans abroad you’d highlight?