Inside the flap was a note about the intended detail of this book. Bits that many had heard, including myself, over the years about his Pressfield’s own time in the wilderness. A Kerouac odyssey that spanned the patchwork quilt of blue-collar Americana.
I have read the books. His nonfiction books which held snippets of this time. I had read Gates of Fire and The Tides of War years ago. I am a fan of ancient world historical fiction. I didn’t understand what The Legend of Bagger Vance was all about and though I enjoyed the movie, I didn’t understand the author and the deviation from the historical fiction work.
It was The War of Art and Writing Wednesdays, which I learned about through Tim Ferris’s book A Tribe of Mentors (a gift from my wife), that exposed me to the candor and candid journey that Steve gradually opened up about. As he continued to do interviews and podcasts, I would hear bits and pieces, dribs and drabs of that time which he had always honored and was always respectful to himself about as difficult as it was.
Here now was a memoir detailing that time.
It was not lost on me that I had waited thirty years to begin writing my book. And it was not lost on me how difficult it was and is to do to write about the wilderness period in your life. As I drafted out my own nonfiction narrative memoir about a period time in my own wilderness in a book called The Leadership Strain, I felt a pang as I knew what it was to touch on old wounds that never fully heal.