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Memoir Chronicles Family's Year Of Cultural Immersion In Brazil

Seal Press

Overwhelmed with her fast-paced, competitive lifestyle, Amy Ragsdale moved with her husband, writer Peter Stark, and their two teenage children from the U.S. to a small town in northeastern Brazil, where she hoped they would learn the value of a slower life. In this culturally rich and economically poor region, Amy and her family learn to fundamentally connect with their neighbors across language and customs. In the year they spend there, Amy grows close to her new neighbors, from the men who cut sugar cane to the clinical university students, as they became the family’s guides to Brazilian life.

Elegantly written and vibrant in detail, Crossing the River tells a global story through a personal memoir, examining life without the trappings of modern American culture, and revealing surprising truths about identity, family, and love.

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Amy Ragsdale

Amy Ragsdale is a writer and choreographer who was raised in Madison, Wisconsin, Asia, and North Africa. She earned a BA in art history from Harvard College and an MALS from Wesleyan. Her articles on travel and dance have appeared in High Desert Journal, Mamalode , and Outside Magazine Online, where she initiated the column Raising Rippers .

Amy has taught contemporary dance in Spain, Indonesia, Martinique, Mozambique, and Brazil. She is the founder of Headwaters Dance Co., the recipient of the University of Montana's Distinguished Teaching Award, and a 2009 Governor's Arts Award for the State of Montana.

She is married to writer Peter Stark. They live in Missoula, Montana, with their children, Skylar and Molly.

Chérie Newman is an arts and humanities producer and on-air host for Montana Public Radio, and a freelance writer. Her weekly literary program, The Write Question, is broadcast on several public radio stations, and available online at and
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