With an excerpt from it recently named as a finalist for The Lascaux Prize, As Far as You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back is “A Girl And Her Backpack” story—except that this girl, Carlie, she’s not just traveling. Carlie steals ten thousand dollars from her parents to get as far from them as possible. She flees to Asia. The Lonely Planet path of hook-ups, heat, alcohol, and drugs takes on a terrifying reality for the teenaged survivor
Carlie is taken under the wing of a compassionate couple who convince her to come to Japan. Living in Tokyo in the late 1980s, teaching English and practicing tai chi, Carlie has the chance at another journey: one to find the self-respect ripped from her as a child and the healthy sexuality she desires.
“Alle C. Hall captures perfectly the scene created by troubled western young people wandering Asia in the pre-internet era. Her protagonist Carlie is a canny survivor, a vulnerable soul, and a fascinating character to watch as she stumbles towards healing. In urgent prose that expresses the tightrope Carlie walks as she seeks first to escape and then to become whole, Hall provides us with a compelling story that takes its place alongside backpacker classics such as The Beach, Losing Gemma, and My Life in Men.” —Zoe Zolbrod (Currency and The Telling)
“With powerful writing that demands a reader’s attention from the start, Hall navigates the dissociative nature of trauma and the slow, staggered process of healing. A compelling, moving exploration of the often unpredictable paths we take in order to understand ourselves. —Andrea J. Buchanan, Five-Part Invention, PEN finalist and New York Times bestselling author.
“As Far As You Can Go Before You Have To Come Back” is slated to release in March of 2023. Alle visits with Mark Alyn on this episode of Late Night Health.
Listen to Alle and Mark here: