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October 11, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Spanning three decades and four continents, Claassen’s travel memoir begins in 1974 with his volunteer work at an Israeli kibbutz and ends in 2006 with his visit to a Native American reservation on the West Coast. Each chapter shares a different experience that influenced Claassen’s life.
Publisher: Cornel & Williams Publishing
But for Claassen, the journey was internal as well. The book is divided into two distinct parts. The first six chapters focus on physical experiences, such as surviving an earthquake in San Salvador. The second half covers spiritual experiences, including worshipping a Mayan deity in a Guatemalan temple.
Not all of Claassen’s excursions involve travel. In 1980 he was working as an actor in New York City; one chapter centers on the development of the character he played in a two-act play, The Sea Horse.
Claassen’s rich descriptions, even as he recalls experiences years later, put readers in the heart of each event. The result makes every scene intimate and exciting.
To celebrate the book’s release, Claassen will be at Columbia Public Library at 7 p.m. on Oct. 17 for his first official book reading. Come expecting audience participation; after all, Journey Man is all about creating community with those around you wherever you might be.