When dictators drive down pristine boulevards, what can a discarded cigar band tell you? Beginning as a critique of the mystifying objective rhetoric of travel guides and ending with letters to a woman named Alyssa, The Concrete of Tight Places attempts to find both a language for globalized experience and globalized experiences that produce language. From Egypt to New Jersey, India to Alaska, the hallucinatory tour of the world that results questions what is left when the levels of mediation that separate us from an encounter with people and places are stripped away. With an introduction by Stephen Rodefer.
“I’ve never read Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling travel memoir of self-affirmation Eat, Pray, Love (2006) (and perhaps it’s unfair to gesture to it now), but I suspect that in a perfect world, it would not be a bestseller. No, in an idealized universe, when homebound escapists sought stories of exotic locales, they would shudder at Gilbert’s privileged hunt for enlightenment and pick up Andrews’s slight volume The Concrete of Tight Places.” — Jessica N.A. Berger, American Book Review
“This book is an adventure that has its own unwashed and unseen beauty.” — Jason Behrends, Chicago Subtext