Chuck Rosenthal’s books don’t start with ideas; they just start. Or at least that is how he explains how his newest book, “Are We Not There Yet?” came into being.
The Loyola Marymount University professor of English wrote the book on a four-month tour through Nepal, India, and North Bhutan with a group of LMU students, his wife, Gail Wronsky, a professor of English, and their daughter.
The book contains the details of the trip, taking place primarily in the eastern Himalayan region of India. “The lower Himalayas are covered with rice fields as far as you can see, then a little farther up jungle, then snowy peaks,” Rosenthal said. “We traveled in old jeeps on narrow mountain roads along precipitous cliffs. It was amazing and moving, with lots of adventures.”
Rosenthal wrote nearly every day of the trip, sharing his writings with the students who in turn shared with him, creating what Rosenthal deemed a “dialectic of inspiration.” One student wrote a novel during their travels. Toward the end of the trip, each of the students gave a reading of their work at a bookstore in Gangtok, India.
“My teaching doesn’t affect my writing; my writing affects my teaching. And these students weren’t writing-emphasis students or even English majors, so I guess the experience was really transformative for them as well,” said Rosenthal.
Next year, Rosenthal plans to release a faux autobiography about the history of Texas. Concerning the reactions to his newest work Rosenthal added, “Some people will say, ‘How could all that happen to you?’ Well, it’s India. I was a big guy with a feathered hat; I attracted attention. And you have to be willing to take a few cautious risks.”
“Are We Not There Yet?” can be purchased at www.amazon.com.