Several months before novelist Howard Frank Mosher turned sixty-five, he learned that he had prostate cancer. Following forty-six intensive radiation treatments, Mosher set out alone in his twenty-year-old Chevy Celebrity on a monumental road trip and book tour across twenty-first-century America. From a chance meeting with an angry moose in northern New England to late-night walks on the wildest sides of America's largest cities, The Great Northern Express chronicles Mosher's escapades with an astonishing array of erudite bibliophiles, homeless hitchhikers, country crooners and strippers, and aspiring writers of all circumstances.
Full of high and low comedy and rollicking adventures, this is part travel memoir, part autobiography, and pure, anarchic fun. From coast to coast and border to border, this unforgettable adventure of a top-notch American writer demonstrates that, sometimes, in order to know who we truly are, we must turn the wheel towards home.
About the Author
Widely celebrated for his essays on travel and nature, Edward Hoagland has written more than twenty books. Both fiction and nonfiction, his works include "Cat Man" (his first book, which won the 1954 Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship), "Walking the Dead Diamond River" (a 1974 National Book Award nominee), "African Calliope" (a 1980 American Book Award nominee), and "The Tugman's Passage" (a 1982 National Book Critics Circle Award nominee). He worked at the Barnum & Bailey Circus while attending Harvard in the early 1950s and later traveled around the world writing for "Harper's, National Geographic", and other magazines. He received two Guggenheim Fellowships and in 1982 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Hoagland was the editor of "The Best American Essays" 1999, and taught at The New School, Rutgers, Sarah Lawrence, CUNY, the University of Iowa, UC Davis, Columbia University, Beloit College, and Brown University. In 2005, he retired from a teaching position at Bennington College in Vermont. He lives in northern Vermont.
Praise for The Great Northern Express
“Like Howard Frank Mosher, I am a novelist and a cancer survivor, and I live in northern New England. The journey Mr. Mosher describes is very familiar to me—made more poignant by the faultless details and inimitable characters the author encounters on his odyssey of self-discovery. Mosher has always been a gifted storyteller; this time, there is an added euphoria in his storytelling—borne by the hope he and I share: for now, we have dodged a bullet that thirty thousand American men don’t dodge every year.”
"Mosher colorfully weaves stories...to create a brilliantly vibrant quilt that covers us with his warmth, humor, and love of discovery, reading, and writing."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Whimsical....Mosher provides a genial reminder that adventures are possible at any age."
“Hilarious, poignant, and honest, this bittersweet memoir is a sheer delight to read.”