Clifford Garstang: Oliver’s Travels - A Novel

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CLIFFORD GARSTANG: OLIVER’S TRAVELS – A NOVEL

BIG BLEND RADIO: Award-winning author Clifford Garstang discusses his new novel, “Oliver’s Travels.” Listen here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean or SoundCloud.

Library of Virginia Literary award-winning author of the short story collection “What the Zhang Boys Know” Clifford Garstang combines his international experience and Midwestern and Virginia roots in “Oliver’s Travels,” which explores the search for truth — in what we tell ourselves and others — and the challenges of healing broken families.

After graduating from college, Garstang spent two years in the Peace Corps teaching English in South Korea. His time abroad helped guide him into the practice of international law in the United States and overseas, including many years spent in Singapore and other parts of Asia. Garstang takes a different kind of journey in his novel, Oliver’s Travels. In this philosophical mystery, a young man searches the world for his missing uncle, whom he hopes can unlock the secret that threatens to destroy their family.

Ollie Tucker, a recent college graduate and student of philosophy, is obsessed with truth and the source of knowledge, questioning the validity of everything he hears from his parents, his girlfriend, and even the voices inside his head. In pursuit of life’s deeper meaning, he invents an alter ego, Oliver, who lives the adventurous and exotic existence Ollie cannot. But Ollie has another problem—a repressed memory that haunts him. Something involving his Uncle Scotty happened when he was young that threatens to derail his life and his relationships. But the memory is a blur. And what he thinks he does remember he knows is unreliable. The uncertainty is paralyzing. What is the truth? What has his subconscious fabricated? When he learns that his uncle, long-presumed dead, is alive and well, Ollie realizes that to move on with his life he must confront him. Determined to find Scotty and solve the mystery, the trail takes him around the globe. First stop, Singapore! With wry humor and finely wrought prose, “Oliver’s Travels” is a shimmering coming-of-age story that explores enduring questions: What do we know? How do we know it?

Clifford Garstang is a former international lawyer and prize-winning author of a novel, “The Shaman of Turtle Valley,” and three story collections, “In an Uncharted Country,” “What the Zhang Boys Know,” and “House of the Ancients and Other Stories,” as well as the editor of the anthology series, “Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet.” With degrees from Northwestern University, Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Garstang was an international lawyer in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Singapore and a legal reform consultant in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Learn more at: https://cliffordgarstang.com/

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About the Author:

Clifford Garstang is a former international lawyer and prize-winning author of a novel, “The Shaman of Turtle Valley,” and three story collections, “In an Uncharted Country,” “What the Zhang Boys Know,” and “House of the Ancients and Other Stories,” as well as the editor of the anthology series, “Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet.”

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