Seeking Austen, from Abroad: Lori Smith’s Memoir 'A Walk with Jane Austen' (2007)
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One outcome of Jane Austen’s popularity with present-day readers is their creation of books derived from and inspired by her own. This article examines a recent contribution to this increasingly crowded field: Lori Smith’s 2007 'A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love & Faith', which depicts a thirtysomething American woman’s travel to England in the hopes of better understanding both Austen and herself. I consider this memoir in relation to other works created by Austen fans, including those who, like Smith, aim primarily at a Christian readership; I address as well this book’s significance as an account of literary pilgrimage and of personally transformative reading.