Straying Home: A Memoir of Changing in Place

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Chapter 1: I find myself alone in a car in the Canadian countryside in the middle of a chilly April night, about to smuggle a group of anarchists across the border. It’s April, 2001 and I’m in Canada for an anti-globalization protest–already way out beyond the edge of my ordinary middle class life…

Chapter 2: I drive through the night wishing I’d never come. The plan is crazy, scary and inconvenient. But then it works.

Chapter 3: Back to 1973–Bill and I meet and fall in love.

Chapter 4: My relationship to my generation and the events of the 1960s is largely one of confusion, made even more confusing by the fact that my uncle was a federal prosecutor and my father was a college dean. The lens through which I saw the campus protests of my time in college was further clouded in the spring of 1969 when my father was carried out of his office building by members of SDS.

Chapter 5: In the spring of my freshman year I had become infatuated with an Amherst junior named Edward. who did his best to live like a character out of a novel by Henry James.

Chapter 6: Edward and I find ourselves in a situation that literature can’t help with. We break up.

Chapter 7: Edward returns–he’s been drafted and is about to be sent to Vietnam. He persuades his friends to talk him into deserting to Canada instead.

Chapter 8: I take a job waitressing at an old fashioned resort hotel in New Hampshire in order to be close to Edward, but it proves to be not close enough. I quit my job and make plans to move to Montreal.

Chapter 9: “We all live in nested cultures, like Russian dolls.”– My childhood in Hanover, New Hampshire during the 1950s and 1960s.


Written by lizseymour

February 6, 2008 at 6:07 pm

5 Responses

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  1. I highly, hihly, highly recommend that you CC license this… on a non-commercial share and share alike license. It works for Cory Doctorow.

    Seth Manapio

    February 9, 2008 at 7:50 pm

  2. I highly (etc.) second Seth’s recommendation. Please don’t let people steal your life’s work!

    This is awesome and I can’t wait to read more. 🙂


    March 4, 2008 at 10:33 pm

  3. This is a fascinating memoir, a fascinating life. I look forward to reading the entire story.


    March 15, 2008 at 10:12 pm

  4. I’ve just spent hours reading these back-to-back chapters when I was supposed to be writing a pseudo- magazine article to be dissected by my master’s committee, none of which are talking to me,two weeks from now.
    I moved to Hanover for my high school senior year, leaving a class of 400 southern Californians for 40 Hanoverians who seemingly had known each other since kindergarten. Liz was tall (no underlines available here) and friendly but distant. My brother David’s surfboard was stolen from our car’s roof-rack the first week. I think she was in the French Club, with Matthew Henry Naitove and Carolyn, and how did Clara Geller become a Miller? And Geoffrey.
    Liz and I were never really friends– she didn’t need anymore, and I always felt she mildly disapproved of me, or merely didn’t like me.
    Liz! This is wonderful. I see a time at the end of each post, which makes me wonder at its seamlessness. Is this really flowing like we’re reading it, or are there drafts, edits we don’t see? Thank you for baring your breasts. Molly

    Molly Frankel

    November 19, 2008 at 4:11 am

  5. Molly! Damn! What a treat to find this here (sorry about the magazine article–the internet is definitely the master procrastination tool…)

    I’m still tall, though a little wider than I was in 1966. As to distant–probably more like paralyzed with self-consciousness. And as to disapproval, probably more like befuddled and a little frightened by anything outside my painfully narrow frame of reference. You and your family hit Hanover like a news bulletin from a much bigger world. It must have been beyond culture shock for you.

    I’ve slacked off on writing but I really do plan to catch up with me–life is stranger than non-fiction at the moment, but looks to be settling down soon. I’m so glad you wrote!

    xo Liz


    November 19, 2008 at 7:01 pm

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