As summer winds down — and heats up — many of us find ourselves traveling to unlikely places by land or sea, even in our minds or on the (Web) page. However and wherever we journey, we usually encounter a few roadblocks and detours before we find ourselves exactly where we want to be.

In this month’s issue of InTheFray, we invite you to pile into our station wagon in cyberspace and join us for some reflective journeys around the globe. We begin by Rowing in place with Victor Mooney, who, as Michael Rymer discovers, is a bit concerned that others might consider him crazy for setting his sights on rowing across the Atlantic. But while Mooney’s journey might seem, on the surface, to be a fanatical quest for fame, there’s something more to his quest. Mooney rows long distances to cope with his family’s struggles with AIDS — and to shed light on the disease that has already killed one of his brothers and lurks behind another.

We then ride with Megan Stielstra to Prague, where she must come to terms with identifying herself as an American even while she feels anger at her own government. Over in Japan, we share Laura Hancock’s frustrations and joys as she desperately tries to find something she can achieve in a country where she can barely speak the language. And back in rural America, poet Shelley Getten recalls the boulders that made two sisters the strong women they became.

Rounding out this month’s stories are two book reviews: ITF Contributing Writer Sharlee DiMenichi reads Matthew Wray’s Not Quite White and discovers that the phrase “white trash” is No ordinary slur, while Jeremy Gillick tries to pinpoint the eye of the Balkan storm in his reading of the collaborative graphic novel Macedonia.

Coming next month: our special issue on the state of language in the 21st century.

Thanks for reading!

Laura Nathan

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