Arts and Culture

Author Geoff Dyer’s latest work is “White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World.” It’s a collection of stories about pilgrimages that also blurs the lines between fiction and non-fiction.

Dyer is in Louisville for an author series lecture at the main Free Public Library Monday night. I spoke with him about putting this book together.

Listen to our conversation in the audio player above.

On putting the stories together that would become his latest book:

“Ten years or more ago, I published a collection of travel-pieces — stories, essays — called, “Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It.” And I’d been to a bunch of other places since then and I realized, ‘oh yeah, there’s a book’s worth of stuff here I think.’ But it wasn’t just that there were enough words; I noticed certain, sort of, themes and things running through the pieces, one of which you correctly say was this idea of pilgrimage. So I started putting them together and then I added some new pieces at the end to sort of wrap the whole thing up to give it a proper unity.”

On the walking the line between fiction and non-fiction:

“It’s not just sort of that ‘did it happen, didn’t it happen’ thing, it’s also kind of the way readers sort of approach these pieces because I think you approach an essay with a different set of expectations to those you bring to a story. So, I like to think it’s just — I mean, for me — it’s just a piece of writing.”

Author Geoff Dyer will speak at the authors series at the main Free Public Library (301 York Street) Monday at 7 p.m. Details can be found here

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for WFPL News.