Working as a feature writer in 1976, Thomas Swick falls in love with a visiting Polish student named Hania and soon moves with her to Warsaw. The next decade sees Thomas living in Poland, Greece, and Philadelphia. He declines an invitation to be a Polish informer, sees John Paul II embolden the masses on his first trip back to his homeland since becoming pope, witnesses the rise of Solidarity and the imposition of martial law in Poland, and walks with thousands of Poles on the pilgrimage to Częstochowa, an annual religious rite that blossoms into a nine-day protest march. In 1989, he watches Hania vote in her country's first free elections since pre-war independence. One month later, he lands his dream job as a travel writer. Falling into Place is the personal story of a young man's discovery of the world and his development as a travel writer. It is also a love story, as he and Hania overcome cultural differences, communist bureaucracy, and unhealthy separations. Intertwined with both is the story of the revolution that altered history. With the world's attention once again turned to Eastern Europe, and a Cold War reality, this memoir can help Americans better understand both.
Thomas Swick was the travel editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel from 1989 to 2008, during which time the newspaper's name appeared in the first nine editions of The Best American Travel Writing. He is the author of four books, and his work has appeared in national newspapers and magazines, literary journals, and anthologies. He lives with his wife Hania in Fort Lauderdale, FL. You can find him at thomasswick.com.
Swick will be in conversation with Eric Weiner. Weiner is author of the New York Times bestseller The Geography of Bliss, which has been translated into eighteen languages. A former correspondent for NPR and the New York Times, Weiner has reported from more than three dozen countries. His work has appeared in the New Republic, Slate, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Foreign Policy, the New York Times Magazine, and the anthology, Best American Travel Writing. He divides his time between Starbucks and Caribou. Read more about Eric Weiner at www.ericweinerbooks.com.