Announcing the Formal Part of the Virtual Literary World Tour!
The Invisible Mentor Blog is taking a tour, Around the World with Books in 120 Days! It is officially called the Virtual Literary World Tour.
Around the World with Books in 120 Days – the Virtual Literary World Tour
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Text of the Presentation
We’re starting the tour in Lowell, Massachusetts, swing over to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, travel to Canada – starting in Neepawa, Manitoba; to Smiths Fall, Ontario, and on to Montreal, Quebec.
- My name is Avil Beckford. I was born in a small town called Savanna-la-mar in the parish of Westmoreland in Jamaica. Most people know about Negril, well Negril is also located in Westmoreland.
- I attended Ardenne High School in Kingston. In 1984, I left Jamaica and went to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In 1993, I went to New York, and in 1995, I returned to Canada and settled in Toronto.
- On October 3, 2012, I received the news that no one ever wants to get – that a loved one has died. My mother, Eileen Beckford who still lived in Jamaica, died unexpectedly. My heart was and still is broken.
- To heal my broken heart, I decided to do something that I truly love, and that is reading. I had already noticed that my reading was very Western and hence the first Virtual Literary World Tour.
Welcome to my first Virtual Literary World Tour, and you will understand shortly why I am starting in Lowell, Massachusetts.
“I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up. I had just gotten over a serious illness that I won’t bother to talk about, except that it had something to do with the miserably weary split-up and my feeling that everything was dead. With the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call my life on the road. Before that I’d often dreamed of going West to see the country, always vaguely planning and never taking off. Dean is the perfect guy for the road because he actually was born on the road…”
Isn’t this a great story start? Some of you may have guessed already, but I am starting off with Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.
On the Road is based on four trips that Jack Kerouac took with his buddy Neal Cassady. Sal Paradise is modeled after Jack Kerouac and Dean Moriarty is modeled after Neal Cassady. Jack and Neal embarked on physical trips across the US for enlightenment and to rediscover America. I am taking a virtual and mental tour to heal my broken heart and learn about other cultures in the process. Unlike Jack, I’m not depressed, but I’m saddened by my mom’s death.
After I read On the Road, I knew intuitively that this was the place to start the first Virtual Literary Tour. And, after I read The Dew Breaker, I knew it had to be featured at the beginning of the tour, because of one of the passages in the book, which would be insignificant to others, but meant the world to me.
The day before my mother died, she went to the hospital and was there for six hours. They should not have sent her home, but they did. During the night the pain returned. She called a friend at 5:00 am the following morning, who rushed to see her. Later another friend arrived to take her to the hospital. Before she could get into the car, she died. She was lying on the porch dead.
The coroner and police took a long time to arrive at my mom’s home. During that time, one of her friends got a sheet, covered her body, leaving her face exposed. In a very short time, there were dozens of people keeping watch over my mom. When I heard this story, I could visualize the entire scene. This is a Caribbean experience, and perhaps an African one – these things do not occur in North America.
A week after the funeral, someone asked if I wanted to see a picture of my mom, and of course I said yes. She showed a picture of my mom lying on the floor dead. I couldn’t believe it – someone used her smartphone to take a photo – not one of my mom’s close friends. Her rationale? She said my mom looked so peaceful.
I chose the other books – A Jest of God (Phoenix Fiction) by Margaret Laurence, A Very Fine Line by Julie Johnston, and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler – because they are by Canadian authors and I live in Canada. I will end the tour the end of June, back where I started – in Canada.
Tomorrow, you will have the summaries of the five books! By the end June, you would have taken the tour, Around the World with Books in 120 Days! Thank you for reading, and welcome to the Virtual Literary World Tour.