Notes from Elsewhere: Travel and Other Matters follows author Monique Laton, a trained anthropologist, through some of life’s familiar experiences: introduction to new cultures, the pitfalls of language, regret for the past, and various types of travel.
She shares her experiences and adventures in some of the planet’s most interesting places in colorful detail. From her childhood in Morocco to a time tinged with loneliness and isolation as she worked in mental hospitals and prisons, she kept an open mind and heart. She survived both the artificial, ephemeral culture of international conferences and attempts to create a semblance of a normal life while living abroad.
As an academic, Layton confronts the problems of cultural disconnection as they occur in life and travel and briefly considers what the future might hold for the elderly. As an anthropologist, she is able to provide context and insight into everyday occurrences. As an immigrant, she draws on her own experience to describe the staggered stages of assimilation.
“Common to all travels, journeys, voyages, and sojourns is the search for the familiar. This search is Monique Layton’s major contribution. Elsewhere, for her, is caught in a web of memory, a rich mélange of philosophical musings and literary allusions. Her text is part ethnography and part gentle mockery as if surprised by her own presence in her varying realities. All this adds up to considerable reading pleasure.”
—Elvi Whittaker, PhD, LlD, professor emerita, University of British Columbia; author of A Baltic Odyssey, The Mainland Haole, and The Silent Dialogue