Press kit for Chasing Montana
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A Love Story
Publication date: April 2006
256 pp. 6 x 9
ISBN 0-299-21754-X Paper $22.95
Booklist | Q Syndicate Book Marks | The Oregonian | Outside Bozeman | The Salt Lake Tribune | The Capital Times
"This tale of love's illusions lost and found should win fans both lesbian and straight."Booklist (from the American Library Association)
"[C]rystalline writing, and a saucy sense of self, both help Chasing Montana stand out on the bookshelf. Soderlind's refreshing remembrance of a road trip is set a couple of decades ago, when two newspaper gals from New Jersey, yearning to escape the daily grind of spiritually deadening jobs, set out for Montana.... Narratives about chasing the meaning of life down a lonesome highway are too often literary cliches. This quiet story breathes fresh air into a stale genre."Q Syndicate Book Marks
"Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to quit your job to find yourself? In reporter Lori Soderlind's case, she wound up in Montana with a friend she's half in love with, trying to figure out what compelled her grandfather to move from Wisconsin to the middle of nowhere . . . In the end, Soderlind doesn't get the girl or move to Montana for good. That doesn't mean it wasn't worth the trip. "The Oregonian (Portland's daily paper)
"Chasing Montana is great. It's an artful, emotional, funny exploration of the temptations and troubles of life back in the real world, why some of us leave it behind (and some of us can't), and whether it matters."Outside Bozeman magazine
"Lori Soderlind has written a beautiful memoir about disappointment in America. . . . Chasing Montana is about . . . the inevitability of disappointment in a culture that promises all dreams come true. We chase those dreams and they're like rainbows: We can see them but we can never touch them."
The Salt Lake Tribune
It is a Montana state of mind, not New York, that preoccupies the primary character of "Chasing Montana," who also happens to be the book's author.
Lori Soderlind's memoir is more about a search for her identity than a geographic portion of America. It is a yearning to feel connected and true to herself, more than her desire to escape an urban lifestyle that has long seemed too stifling and barren.
Who has not tried to make life better by changing jobs, careers, place of residence, roommates or lovers? At some point, if these makeovers don't do the trick then another, harder option is to make changes withinor be true to who or what you have ignored.
Soderlind, a longtime newspaper journalist, acknowledges her lesbianism in this book, as a special same-sex friendship deepens its emotional tug. The revelation seems to be a surprise only to herself, and this is a tale of unrequited love as well as a coming out story.
"Brokeback Mountain" crosses "Thelma and Louise"that's how a reviewer at the Morning Call, Allentown, Pa., described the plot. Soderlind is a graduate of nearby Lehigh University.
We follow the gal palsLori and Madeleinefrom New Jersey to Montana, then back East. What they experience is about humor, fear, loss and recognition.
They are pioneers of sorts, using this adventure to better understand their past as well as mold their future.
"She believed in things other people didn't see, and she saw something in me too, which amazed me," Soderlind writes, to explain her attraction to Madeleine. "It felt as if someone else, for the first time, actually knew who I was."
So who are you, Lori? This facelike all otherschanges with the landscapes and people who are encountered on them.
"I think Montana has the power to change people," the book's main character decides.
"Maybe it just lets people be themselves," a friend answers."
The Capital Times, Madison, WI
"An understated and moving memoir that feels like a road trip with a really good friend. But more than that, it's a subtle social commentary, a travel story, a coming out, and an epitaph for the ghost towns of the West. Chasing Montana will be a new road favorite for meandering women across the land."Mack Friedman, author of Setting the Lawn on Fire
"I rolled down my window. The air rushed in like a flood of invisible cotton, soft and edgeless. It smelled like the earth baked in sun. Oh god: it could all be so beautiful, it could, it could, if we wanted. I yelled above the radio and the wind rushing in: 'Madeleine, I want to be free as wild horses, I want to live among the buffalo, I want to let my hair grow to my knees and swim naked in cold rivers. I want to live, to live, to live until I die and nothing can stop me now. I WANT TO BE FREEEEEEE!' "from Chasing Montana
Lori Soderlind worked for fifteen years at a variety of newspapers and magazines before becoming a journalism professor at Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, Connecticut. She lives in New York City and Saratoga Springs, New York. This is her first book.
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