Just One Question: A Road Trip Memoir
Tyler Sassaman, author
At 35 and smack in the middle of a crossroads in his life, Ty Sassaman embarked on a journey to find himself, come to terms with his past, and look to the future. He ventured into the world with a single question, one he hoped would help him uncover a fundamental truth of his own -not knowing it would continually reveal the honesty, humor, and thoughtfulness of those he met along the way. From Boston to Burning Man, into the wilds of Minnesota's Boundary Waters and out to the beaches of sunny California, readers are invited along on Sassaman's expansive, free-wheeling road trip, all in pursuit of Just One Question. Along the way, Sassaman reflects on the thoughts of Americans, what they dream, what they fear, and most of all, the questions they ask. Postcards sprinkled throughout contains questions from participants such as Phyllis Diller, Al Franken, Dave Barry, and even Dear Abby.
Sassaman’s entertaining memoir traces a road trip from Boston to Burning Man, in Nevada, and back, all the while asking strangers: if you could ask everyone you met just one question, what would you ask? Sassaman uses this conceit to navigate beyond his comfort zone into conversations with strangers, including a felon hitchhiker, a tattoo artist, and a wild bull, who retreats after Sassaman pops his question. Answers range from moral dilemmas (“what criteria do you use to differentiate between right and wrong?”) to cocktail party conversation (“is a chicken wing light meat or dark meat?”). Intended questions to celebrities frame each chapter, featuring the likes of poet laureate Ted Kooser (“Do you know a way to slow the passage of time?”) and humorist Dave Barry (“Do you mind if I ask you one question?”). Along the way Sassaman wrestles with his own problems, most notably his need for his father’s approval. The book doesn’t necessarily hold the meaning of life, but it will leave readers asking themselves questions both thoughtful and silly. (BookLife)