Assistant Professor Benoit Denizet-Lewis is having a whirlwind of a summer as he aggressively travels to promote his new book, Travels With Casey (2014, Simon & Schuster), which was ranked #22 on the New York Times’ Best Sellers List for Hardcover Nonfiction the week of August 10.
Benoit Denizet-Lewis, assistant professor in the Writing, Literature, and Publishing Department, with his dog, Casey. (Courtesy Photo)
The book, which studies America’s relationship with dogs as Denizet-Lewis’s documents his cross-country journey with his nine-year-old Labrador-mix, Casey, was named People’s Book of the Week on June 27. Time named Travels With Casey a Book Culture Pick this summer; and USA Today declared Denizet-Lewis a “hot summer author” in late May.
Denizet-Lewis, who works in the Writing, Literature and Publishing Department, is continuing his book tour before the start of the school year next month.
The author, who frequently writes for New York Times Magazine and whose previous works delved into serious topics such as drug addiction and homosexuality in American culture, said he wanted to take a light-hearted approach to Travels.
“I wanted to have some fun and write something light,” Denizet-Lewis said. “It was definitely the book I needed to do at this point in my life.”
What will readers enjoy most about Travels? “My dog,” he said. “Definitely my dog.”
Denizet-Lewis calls his book tour “exhausting, but a lot of fun.”
“Getting up at 5:30 am on a Sunday to appear on a local Phoenix television station isn’t the height of glamour,” he said, “but the readings and events so far have been amazing.”
“People have been reacting very positively to the book,” Denizet-Lewis continued, “so in every city I visit, I’m greeted by happy people and dogs. Not a bad gig.”
Travels With Casey is described by the publisher as “a delightfully idiosyncratic blend of memoir and travelogue coupled with an exploration of a dog-loving America.
“What does our relationship to our dogs tell us about ourselves and our values? Denizet-Lewis explores those questions—and his own canine-related curiosities and insecurities—during his unforgettable road trip through our dog-loving nation.”