What in the World Books

What in the World?

    It seems there are things in the world besides Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. In fact, there are actually things worth writing entire books about. And worth publishing. With that in mind, Fretwater Press is proud to launch a new line called What in the World Books. Our first release is already garnering lavish praise:


   from the   

        Republic of Otherness

by Laura Kelly

When I turned 40, I left my humid, cushy life as a professor and part-time bon vivant  in Miami and relocated to Tirana, Albania, to teach journalism. Once there, the Balkans entranced me--the staunch dignity, the coarse poverty, the ripe and lurching turbulences and the audible sound of history physically unfolding around me. I had a ringside seat and a whole lotta love.

     --excerpt from “Expanded by Melancholy”
        Dispatches from the Republic of Otherness
Laura Kelly's coyly roguish collection of stories takes readers from Bulgaria to Mongolia to Armenia and countries further afield. With a generous sense of wonder and mischief and the keen eye of a storytelling journalist, Kelly chronicles the surprising resonance of ordinary encounters with her students, her neighbors and herself viewed through the prism of a stranger in strange lands.   

Laura Kelly is a pilgrim of the old order, one for whom the road is a path to self-discovery. Kelly fills these pages with beautifully detailed scenes--there are excruciating but hilarious moments--and there are poignant moments, too, where teacher and students reverse roles, break language barriers and find common ground. If you didn't get a chance to travel this summer, you'll find a trip to remember in Laura Kelly's Dispatches from the Republic of Otherness. 

Ann Cummins NPR

Those who believe that travel awakens our finer instincts should follow Kelly’s pitch-perfect writing to reach places most westerners will not likely set foot.

ForeWord Reviews

The experiences and the stories in Laura Kelly's new book are engaging, wonderfully readable and wonderfully readable again. I know many people who travel, but nobody who has lived in such challenging and interesting places with the talent to tell their stories so well.

Ken Lamm, reader


I feel like I've spent a couple of weeks with Laura Kelly just like in the good old times: listening to her stories in class, or sitting with friends and sipping wine at her old apartment in Blagoevgrad.

Katerina Upevce, former student


I am really enjoying Dispatches from the Republic of Otherness and rediscovering what a thrill it is to experience vicarious travel adventures (and wonderful writing) via Laura Kelly.

Barry Friedman, newspaper editor


Over the weekend I read our own Laura Kelly's Dispatches from the Republic of Otherness. What a delightful reading (and not only for us with bi-continental lives)! Very interesting observations wrapped into soothingly poetic language.

Eva Putzova, reader


160 pages, trade paperback

ISBN 978-1-892327-57-4