Haines, John W.: Never Leaving Laramie: Travels in a Restless World (2020)
Discussion: Monday, February 15, 2021, 6:30-8:00 pm. Online meeting via Zoom; e-mail bookclub AT crpca.org for the login information. Participating in our discussion will be John Haines, the book’s author!
Synopsis: John Haines spent the better part of two decades traveling the world: biking through Tibet, kayaking the length of the Niger River, taking the Trans-Siberian Express from Beijing to East Berlin. Various friends and compatriots—frequently from his hometown of Laramie, Wyoming—accompanied Haines on his trips. In 1999, everything changed. While leaping from a moving train in the Czech Republic—something he’d done many times in many places—Haines fell and broke his neck. Damage to his spine left him without use of his legs and radically changed his life. In the years since, Haines has added writer to a résumé that already included baker and banker. In Never Leaving Laramie, he pulls stories about traveling into an exploration of home: How a rural home fueled and sustained a worldview. How beauty and danger blend together with humility and ego. How itchy feet combine with the comfort of home in Laramie, a tough railroad town turned college town and a launchpad for wanderers. Throughout, Haines returns to ideas of rivers and movement. He ends with a chapter on a different kind of travel, reflecting on how his accident did and did not change him and the varied ways that people can move through the world.