Walking the Trail

Jerry Ellis, Author Delacorte Press $19 (1p) ISBN 978-0-385-30448-1
In late summer of 1989, Ellis, an unsuccessful Hollywood screenwriter suffering from midlife blues, set out to walk in reverse the 900-mile Trail of Tears traversed in 1838 by Cherokee Indians being herded by soldiers, in frigid winter, from their Southeast homeland to a reservation in what is now Oklahoma. Ellis, himself part Cherokee, says he wanted to honor those 4000 who died along the way and to rediscover the toughness of his youth. Unfortunately, neither aim is accomplished in this sexually charged and plainspoken account of his nearly two-month trek. The Trail's victims serve only as backdrop to the author's personal adventuring and respites in homes, dorms and motels. Read as travelogue and/or one lonely man's tussle with life, the book, even though exploitative of a tragic event, proves intermittently entertaining. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Hardcover - 353 pages - 978-1-56054-642-9
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-385-30826-7
Paperback - 353 pages - 978-1-56054-885-0
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-8032-6743-5
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