Forman, Gayle

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Forman, Gayle

PERSONAL: Married Nick Tucker (a librarian); children: Willa.

ADDRESSES: HomeNew York, NY. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Rodale Press, 33 E. Minor St., Emmaus, PA 18098-0099. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Freelance journalist and author.

WRITINGS:

You Can't Get There from Here: A Year on the Fringes of a Shrinking World (travel memoir), Rodale Press (Emmaus, PA), 2005.

Contributor of articles to periodicals, including the New York Times Magazine, Nation, Glamour, Elle, Details, Travel & Leisure, Jane, and Budget Travel. Seventeen magazine, contributing editor.

SIDELIGHTS: A freelance journalist, Gayle Forman and her husband spent 2002 year traveling around the world, and the result of her voyages was the 2005 title You Can't Get There from Here: A Year on the Fringes of a Shrinking World. Booklist contributor Margaret Flanagan called the book a catalog of "offbeat locales and colorful experiences," as Forman searches for the "wacky, weird, and wonderful." Forman's travels took her from Africa to Central and East Asia and on to Europe, as she investigated destinations off the usual tourist route and met people who, like Forman views herself, are outsiders to society. For Lorraine Ali, writing in Newsweek International, Forman describes "travel through a secret … door."

Forman encountered plenty of eccentrics on her journeys: there were the J.R.R. Tolkien fans in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan performing Hobbit rituals, hip-hop devotees in Zanzibar, the madam of a sadomasochism parlor in Amsterdam, and many more. Along the way, Forman also doles out travel advice, such as the warning that travelers should be sure to take time away from their travel partners—Forman's own marriage gained stress fractures from the adventure. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly described Forman's book as "a richly woven narrative" that focuses on either an individual or a group from each locale. The same reviewer went on to dub Forman's recounted travels as "smart, well-written tales." A critic for Kirkus Reviews had a more mixed appraisal of You Can't Get There from Here, noting the lack of an overarching theme to connect her vignettes and the occasional slip in fact-checking. As the same contributor concluded, "Forman writes breezily and pleasantly, though some of her set pieces go on too long" and lose their momentum. Alison Hopkins, writing in Library Journal, had higher praise, calling Forman's year-long voyage a "fascinating adventure" that in You Can't Get There from Here is "packaged in a personal, engrossing description."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Forman, Gayle, You Can't Get There from Here: A Year on the Fringes of a Shrinking World, Rodale Press (Emmaus, PA), 2005.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 15, 2005, Margaret Flanagan, review of You Can't Get There from Here, p. 1053.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2005, review of You Can't Get There from Here, p. 99.

Library Journal, February 1, 2005, Alison Hopkins, review of You Can't Get There from Here, p. 106.

Newsweek International, May 9, 2005, Lorraine Ali, review of You Can't Get There from Here, p. 57.

Publishers Weekly, February 7, 2005, review of You Can't Get There from Here, p. 50.

ONLINE

Court TV Web site, http://www.courttv.com/ (June 11, 2001), "Chat with Gayle Forman."

Gayle Forman Home Page, http://www.gayleforman.com (July 7, 2005).