The Past is a Foreign Country

For Immediate Release

Friday, May 22nd at 8 pm
$ 3 Suggested Admission

ROSENDALE, NY – Roos Arts announces a reading by the writer Ann Neumann on Friday, May 22nd at 8 p.m.  Neumann will be reading from her manuscript-in-progress, THE PAST IS A FOREIGN COUNTRY, a nonfiction work about death and grief, memory and travel.  

Taken from the first line of L.P. Hartley's 1953 novel The Go-Between, THE PAST IS A FOREIGN COUNTRY arose from the experience of caring for her father until his death in December 2005, after a ten year struggle with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and her subsequent 18 month trip around the world through Russia, Central Europe and Africa.   

The book is a literary exploration of grief as an involuntary exhumation of the past, an extrinsic experience not unlike traveling alone in a foreign country, and of memory as an unreliable lens through which we examine and define ourselves.  

Picking up the narrative thread in the middle, at the time of her father's death, she alternates chapters between a tracing of her family relationships, and the episodic retelling of her travel experiences which include run-ins with wild elephants, Russian crooks and common thieves. 

Neumann has been a travel correspondent for her hometown newspaper, writing the column “Letters Home.”  She is a regular contributor to, an Utne Award-winning online magazine, where she also blogs about religion.  She maintains the blog otherspoon where she is currently serializing a study of the martyrs featured in the second most common book found in the Mennonite Church, Martyrs’ Mirror, Or The Bloody Theater of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only Upon Confession of Faith, and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus, Their Savior, From the Time of Christ to the Year A.D. 1660.  She is currently researching Physician Assisted Suicide and the Religious Right.  Ann Neumann lives in Brooklyn, New York and spends her free time looking for the perfect agent.

Roos Arts is a new contemporary art space located at 449 Main Street, Rosendale, NY. We will be open to the public with our first group show titled, “Meet & Cake” on Saturday, April 25th, 7 – 10 pm, running through May 30, 2009.  The exhibition will feature artists working in diverse medium and subject matter.  For more information and a full schedule of spring and summer events, please visit  Roos Arts will be open to the public starting April 25 from Thursday – Saturday, 1 – 5 p.m. and by appointment.

Roos Arts
449 Main Street
Rosendale, NY 12472