Let’s hear from LBP author, Maxine Rose Schur

“My memoir Places in Time arose out of a great thirst for youthful adventure and even more, for a passion to tell. On my long-ago journey around the world, I bore witness to the hopes, fears and loves of strangers. These strangers were ordinary people around the world who had trusted me to be part of their lives, their families and to know their hearts. When the journey ended, I felt an obligation not only to tell the story of my adventurous travels but to tell their stories as well. For me, the most powerful “traveler’s tale” is one that I, the traveler, have heard on my travels.

Places in Time has touched a chord with so many readers who have sent me kind letters of appreciation. The critical praise the book garnered and those reader letters have given me the confidence to work on a new travel memoir, not of a single journey this time, but simply about some of the extraordinary people and cultures I’ve encountered over the past years, and yes their stories. On so many trips, stereotypes evaporated and were replaced by knowledge that often arrived on the wings of surprise. For example, my astonishment when the young Muslim woman in Morocco told me her dream was to play professional women’s basketball. Or the Kurdish waiter in Turkey who told me how very much he loved all the novels of John Steinbeck.

The places and people I have traveled to, have traveled back to me. My experiences in other countries now live inside me; they are part of me. Travel has enriched my life aesthetically, intellectually and psychologically. And often, when people ask me why I waited so long to write about a past experience, my answer is “Only now do I understand it.” I believe that the original incident doesn’t hold an inherent meaning. The great American writer, Katherine Anne Porter said that it takes her ten years to understand the meaning of something that happened to her. She could have given a narrative account of it right away of course, but it couldn’t become a true story until she understood what it all meant and that took time, what she called “imaginative mulling.”

So that’s me too. There’s someplace within me where the imaginative mulling happens for I know that if I really pay attention to the experience, its significance will inevitably emerge.

These days, I continue to travel (last year it was Uzbekistan). I teach travel writing and I love to read travel writing too. My favorite travel narratives are the classic, older ones. I adore Beryl Markham’s West with the Night, I love all the travel narratives by Freya Stark, Gertrude Bell and Isabel Bird. I admire these gutsy women who courageously explored some of the most remote regions on earth at a time when women were expected to be docile and domestic.

Of course, I enjoy reading contemporary travel authors too. I loved Philip Cousineau’s 2021 book, The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker's Guide to Making Travel Sacred.

And what do I do when I’m not traveling or travel writing? I dream about and plan my next trip! And, I write children’s books, many of which have been inspired by my travels. So, perhaps a hidden message for my readers, whether adult or child, is this: The world is a beautiful, fascinating place. Go see for yourself!”