Marcia DeSanctis - A HARD PLACE TO LEAVE - in conversation with Lavinia Spalding

Come join us for a presentation by journalist and travel writer Marcia DeSanctis featuring A HARD PLACE TO LEAVE: Stories from a Restless Life.This new literary collection features the best, and many new, essays from her decades of travel. She will appear in conversation with accomplished New Orleans travel writer Lavinia Spalding and their discussion will include the travel as a transformative experience, and the travel literary essay as vital commentary during changing times, as these recent pandemic years certainly have been.

Restless to leave, eager to return: this memoir in essays captures the unrelenting pull between the past and the present, between traveling the world and staying home.

Starting in a dreary Moscow hotel room in 1983, weaving back and forth to rural New England, and ending on a West Texas trail in 2020, Marcia DeSanctis tells stories that span the globe and half a lifetime. With intimacy and depth, over quicksand in France, insomnia in Cambodia, up a volcano in Rwanda, spinning through the eye of a snowstorm in Bismarck, and atop a dumpster in her own backyard, this New York Times bestselling author, award-winning essayist and journalist for Vogue and Travel + Leisure immerses us in places waiting to be experienced and some that may be more than we’re up for. She encounters spies, angels, leopards, shoes, the odd rattlesnake, a random head of state, and many times over, the ghosts of her past. Each subsequent voyage leads to revelations about her search for solitude, a capacity for adventure, and always, a longing for home.

“These probing, achingly beautiful essays form an indelible portrait of a life.” —Dani Shapiro

“A masterfully composed memoir...essays are equal parts dark and luminous, ferocious and tender, universal and
intimate.” Lavinia Spalding

Marcia DeSanctis is a journalist, essayist, and author of 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go, a New York Times travel bestseller. A Contributing Writer at Travel + Leisure, she also writes for Vogue, Air Mail, BBC Travel, The New York Times, Tin House, Creative Nonfiction and many other publications. She has won five Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers and is the recipient of two Grand Prize Solas Awards including the 2021 Gold Award for Travel Story of the Year.

Lavinia Spalding is an author and editor who has published ten books. She is the six-time series editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing, the author of Writing Away, and the co-author of With a Measure of Grace, This Immeasurable Place, and the 2022 Frommer’s Easy Guide to New Orleans. She’s also co-host of the storytelling podcast There She Goes. Lavinia’s writing has appeared in The New York Times’ Modern Love column, AFAR, Tin House, Longreads, Yoga Journal, Sunset, Ms., The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, and many more publications. Her work has won gold Lowell Thomas and gold SOLAS travel writing awards, has been widely anthologized, and has been recognized in The Best American Travel Writing. She lives in New Orleans.


Event date: 

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - 6:00pm to 7:15pm

Event address: 

Octavia Books - 513 Octavia Street - New Orleans, LA 70115
Hard Place to Leave: Stories from a Restless Life By Marcia DeSanctis Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609522063
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Travelers' Tales - May 1st, 2022

Restless to leave, eager to return: this memoir in essays captures the unrelenting pull between the past and the present, between traveling the world and staying home.

The Best Women's Travel Writing, Volume 12: True Stories from Around the World By Lavinia Spalding (Editor) Cover Image
By Lavinia Spalding (Editor)
ISBN: 9781609521899
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Travelers' Tales - November 24th, 2020

This 12th volume in the popular series presents the best travel writing by women for women that's been done in the past few years. Adventures range from a trip into a new neighborhood to expeditions to the far corners of the globe, always with the inner journey close at hand to give perspective and meaning. The voices are diverse, intimate, and engaging, as are the stories.

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