In The Voice That Was in Travel, the frictions in Diane Glancy's writing express the sense of displacement her American Indian travelers endure. Whether the characters are working or on pleasure trips, in Oklahoma, on the backroads of Arkansas, or in Germany, Australia, or Italy, their journeys are always superimposed on the memories of old tribal migrations.
In twenty stories that range in length from one-page vignettes to novellas, Glancy creates characters who are quirky and uneasy but who nevertheless are consoled by Christianity. A seamstress who uses a "machine that heals as it sews, " a ridiculed woman who sees Jesus in a bicycling rag picker, a traveler who recalls Noah while navigating her way in a foreign country during a flood -- all find spiritual refuge amid their anxieties.
Using a terse, highly original style, Glancy reveals striking insights into contemporary American Indian life. At the same time, her stories reflect the universal contemporary theme of rapid, jarring change -- the uneasy sense that we are all strangers in a strange land.