Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

The Pulitzer Prize winning journalist so enjoyed her yearlong
sabbatical to Europe described in Without Reservations that she
decided to paint on a bigger canvas, have a grander adventure.  Quitting her job on the Baltimore Sun, Alice
heads out to far off places.  As in her
earlier book, Alice combines her travels with learning.  She attends a cooking school in France,
learns to herd sheep with a Border Collie in Scotland, and takes in a geisha
meeting in Japan.  She travels to Havana,
immersing herself in Cuban culture.  In
England she tours the land of Jane Austen. 
Everywhere she goes, Alice stays involved and open to her
experiences.  Her writing style is lively
and her books are a lot of fun.

— Deon Stonehouse


This funny and tender book combines three of Alice Steinbach’s greatest passions: learning, traveling, and writing. After chronicling her European journey of self-discovery in Without Reservations, this Pulitzer Prize—winning columnist for the Baltimore Sun quit her job and left home again. This time she roamed the world, taking lessons and courses in such things as French cooking in Paris, Border collie training in Scotland, traditional Japanese arts in Kyoto, and architecture and art in Havana. With warmth and wit, Steinbach guides us through the pleasures and perils of discovering how to be a student again. She also learns the true value of this second chance at educating herself: the opportunity to connect with and learn from the people she meets along the way.

About the Author

ALICE STEINBACH, whose work at the Baltimore Sun was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, has been a freelance writer since 1999. Currently a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, she has taught journalism and writing at Princeton University, Washington and Lee University, and Loyola College. She lives in Baltimore.

Praise For…

“Highly recommended . . . The beauty of [Steinbach’s] narrative . . . lies in her luminous descriptions. . . . But it is her perceptive looks into the lives and minds and hearts of the people she meets through her studies that bring her settings to life and make this collection of essays truly engaging.”
–Library Journal

“Steinbach makes such a life look highly desirable. . . . Her stories are powerfully seductive to anyone who’s ever been tempted to get up and go, following interests wherever they may lead.”
Publishers Weekly

“A delicious experience . . . This book will entertain, educate and perhaps inspire readers to make their own journeys.”
-–San Francisco Chronicle

"I loved Educating Alice....Alice Steinbach may visit some of the world's most popular tourist cities but she does not follow the ordinary tourist route. Oh no! Down the back alleys Alice Steinbach goes, slipping through side doors and riding on employees-only elevators; dropping huge, slippery salmon on the floor of the Ritz Escoffier Ecole de Gastronomie Francaise and charming retired geishas into showing her their prized kimonos, wrapped in rice paper and stowed in boxes in the attic. Ms. Steinbach must be who Henry James imagined when he advised novelists to try to become 'one upon whom nothing is lost.'"
Sarah Pritchard, author of Crackpots: A Novel

“In these uncertain times, the smart thing to do is stay home and read Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman. Alice Steinbach has more fun than anybody, whether chasing sheep in Scotland, or taking cooking lessons at the Ritz in Paris, or swinging to a salsa beat in a down-at-the-heel cafe in Havanna, or taking a writing course in Prague, or studying landscape architecture in Provence, etc. etc. etc.--- Alice’s etceteras are limitless, and what all of us, surely, have always wanted to do ourselves. What is more, no matter what she does or who she sees or how hilarious the encounter, she is a lady to her toes."
Jane Geniesse, author of Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark

“A brisk and companionate tour of the Paris Ritz, ancient streets of Kyoto, the Scottish Highlands, inner Prague and Renaissance Florence, in search of the secrets of French cooking, Japanese dance, sheepherding, writing and painting. Alice Steinbach’s travel memoir serves up, in savory detail, the tricks and ingredients of these trades, even as she reveals steps in the intimate dance of an epistolary romance of her own.”
Jean McGarry, Chair of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars
Product Details
ISBN: 9780812973600
ISBN-10: 0812973607
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Publication Date: April 12th, 2005
Pages: 320
Language: English