Road Scholar: Coast to Coast Late in the Century, with photographs by David Graham
Editura Curtea Veche 2008 as Prof pe Drum (Bucharest, translated by Ioana Avadani with new David Graham photographs)
Codrescu embraces the tradition of seeking America from the driver's seat. He starts out by saying that "all my life I had two claims to fame: I was born in Transylvania and I didn't drive a car." To make a film, Codrescu loses one of those claims. He takes driving lessons, then tours the country making a film of the America he finds. He sees the Statue of Liberty, a Roller Skating Gospel Rink near Chicago, Sikhs in Albuquerque, and ends in San Francisco's North Beach. His writing is lyrical, insightful, and very original.
"Approached by a TV producer to make a documentary about a drive across the U.S., Codrescu, Rumanian-born poet and commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered , declined. He didn't drive. But after pondering the tradition of American rediscovery by such notables as Walt Whitman, Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac, he took driving lessons and possession of a vintage (1968) red Cadillac convertible and set out to explore an America not on most maps. For him that country stretches from the Nuyorican Cafe on Manhattan's lower East Side, along the "psychic highway" through the land of the Shakers, Mormons and Oneidists, to the Polish enclave of Hamtramck in the heart of Detroit, to the "holy dirt" of Chimayo, N.M. not far from the community of Sikhs near Albuquerque, through the drive-in wedding chapels of Las Vegas to the San Francisco of poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Vietnamese immigrants. With photos by Graham ( Only in America ), Codrescu portrays with style and affection a hilariously contradictory, paradoxically spiritual and materialistic country." - Publishers Weekly Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.