The Distance Is More Than an Ocean: a travelogue memoir

Product Details
Finishing Line Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.08 inches | 0.12 pounds
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About the Author
Chris Wiewiora spent his childhood in Warsaw, Poland with his parents who served as Evangelical missionaries behind the "Iron Curtain." Later, his parents moved their family to Orlando, Florida. Chris received Honors in the Major from the University of Central Florida where he worked as an assistant editor at The Florida Review. The Distance Is More Than An Ocean is his first chapbook. He wrote it while earning an MFA in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University where he served as the managing editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment. After graduating, the National Endowment for Humanities deemed him a "Humanities Scholar" and Humanities Iowa awarded him a grant for hosting the radio show BOOK CENTRAL where he interviewed authors writing from the Central Time Zone. His nonfiction has been published in Airplane Reading, A River & Sound Review, Essay Daily, Redivider, Slice, and Story as well as anthologized in Back to the Lake, Best American Sports Writing, Best Food Writing, The Norton Reader, and Two-Countries: U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents. He regularly contributes to The Good Men Project. Read more at

"What is family? Where is home? Can we trust memory and how does that faulty mechanism define us? Are you the country of your birth, your heritage, a language? Or an amalgamation of each? The desperate landscape of childhood and the distortion of time and distance over the often-rough road called 'Growing Up' are all explored in Chris Wiewiora's honest and poignant memoir. In his retrospective chronicle we are reminded that these fundamental human questions follow us through the seasons of a life, form our personal narrative, and ultimately make each of us unique."

-Tina Schumann, poet and editor of Two-Countries: U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents

"Chris Wiewiora deftly and sensitively probes the rich but complicated experience of having roots in two countries."

-Thomas Swick, author of The Joys of Travel and Unquiet Days: At Home in Poland

In this poignant and lyrical travelogue/memoir, The Distance is More Than an Ocean, author Chris Wiewiora meets himself coming and going, in constructions of memory and imagination, as he embarks on a return journey to Poland where he spent part of his childhood. "If I filled my body with water, then maybe I could become a fish and swim back to America," the author recalls thinking as he longed for his American life during his Polish childhood. Yet Poland remains a tie that binds, even after his family's return to Florida. A quintessential roots journey, this book opens into textured layers, like Matryoshka nesting dolls of contestable identity, as the narrator travels ever closer to the stories and places of his childhood.

-Debra Marquart, author of The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere and Small Buried Things: Poems