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A Train Through Time

A Life, Real and Imagined

List Price: $16.95

February 13, 2018 | Paperback | 4.9 x 6.9, 160 pages | ISBN 9781619026018
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“It has been a long time since I read a book so moving, plainspoken, and beautiful.” –Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Moonglow

How much of our memory is constructed by imagination? And how does memory shape our lives? As a nine-year-old, Elizabeth Farnsworth struggled to understand the loss of her mother. On a cross-country trip with her father, the heartsick child searches for her mother at train stations along the way. Even more, she confronts mysteries: death, time, and a locked compartment on the train.

Weaving a child’s experiences with memories from reporting in danger zones like Cambodia and Iraq, Farnsworth explores how she came to cover mass death and disaster. While she never breaks the tone of a curious investigator, she easily moves between her nine-year-old self and the experienced journalist. She openly confronts the impact of her childhood on the route her life has taken. And, as she provides one beautifully crafted depiction after another, we share her journey, coming to know the acclaimed reporter as she discovers herself.

About Elizabeth Farnsworth

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH is a filmmaker, foreign correspondent, and former chief correspondent and principal substitute anchor of PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. She has reported from Cambodia, Vietnam, Chile, Haiti, Iraq, and Iran, among other places, and has received three Emmy nominations and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award.

Praise
Praise for A Train Through Time

"A moving and vivid account into what drove this accomplished journalist into the darkest corners of humanity . . . Like all good memoirs, A Train Through Time offers the reader an opportunity to 'ride along' with an intelligent and reflective narrator as she inventories her life and offers us an insider's view of some of the most morally challenging moments in our country's history." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Elizabeth Farnsworth has created a magic potion of prose that has both the deep rhythms and cadences of poetry . . . It is a small jewel of graceful writing, insightful observing and memorable reading that will live in the mind of readers forever." --Jim Lehrer

"It has been a long time since I read a book so moving, plainspoken, and beautiful." --Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Moonglow

"A story of courage and compassion, longing and love. A polished gem, like nothing I've ever read before." --Ayelet Waldman, author of Love and Treasure and A Really Good Day

"Filmmaker and PBS foreign correspondent Farnsworth packs a life's worth of pain and self-discovery into a slim memoir that fuses fiction and memory . . . The scenes of destruction abroad are chillingly real . . . She's such an able storyteller and her tale of loss, suffused with a child's desire to attach meaning and reasoning to death, is so universal." --Publishers Weekly

"In this book, Elizabeth Farnsworth lays bare the genesis of the caring heart that has so infused her stellar reporting. In flashbacks and leaps forward, in fact and fantasy, she takes the reader on a journey that opens up her personal and professional world in a way that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. It is a unique perspective that deserves to be read by anyone who cares about the news and is curious about someone who does it so well." --Charlayne Hunter-Gault, recipient of a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcast journalism, and author of In My Place

"In her intensely personal book, A Train Through Time: A Life Real and Imagined, journalist and filmmaker Elizabeth Farnsworth, formerly of PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, combines historical and emotional fact with a bit of fiction to paint a portrait that captures her childhood and also her professional life." --San Francisco Chronicle

"A unique, moving, and thought-provoking portrait of Elizabeth Farnsworth's years as a foreign correspondent, beautifully layered with a potent reimagining of the loss she suffered in childhood, one part of her life speaking to the other, answering and assuaging, bringing a long-sought understanding of the pull war zones and conflicts exerted on her." --Linda Spalding, author of The Purchase

"From Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, and other outposts of human danger and devastation, famed NewsHour television journalist, Elizabeth Farnsworth, brought home tragic news. Yet, as a nine-year-old girl, young Elizabeth faced a tragic loss of her own. In this riveting book, we meet a brave, questing child, teddy bear under arm, facing the edge of the unbearable, and a highly compassionate adult, seeking to know and help a wounded world. Brilliant. Unforgettable. Healing." --Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

"In this haunting combination of a reporter's memories and the imagination of a bereaved child, Elizabeth Farnsworth seamlessly weaves together two different, but not entirely disparate, aspects of her life. The result is a deeply moving piece of literature quite unlike any other I have read." --Adam Hochschild, author of Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39

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