Traveling with Ghosts

Excerpt in The GuardianI didn’t realise he was dying’: the day I lost my fiancé

Excerpt in YOU Magazine – Real lives: The deadly sting that destroyed our paradise

A Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Spring 2017 Pick

One of Bustle’s Best Nonfiction Books for February 2017 – “Heartbreaking but beautiful. … As much as this is a tale of grief and loss, it’s one of love, too.”

Starred review in Booklist – “Fowler has turned her devastating, beautiful, honest, and personal story into something universal. Akin to Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, her book will appeal to globetrotters and readers of hopeful stories chronicling grief and recovery.”

The Washington Times – “Searing reading. This is a writer who is a wonder at conveying pain amid a rush of emotions. . . Blending her intensely personal pain with historic and current anguish is done with finesse and a fine sense of proportion, never competing, never diminishing or devaluing.”

USA Today“Fowler shows none of the self-aggrandizement that saturates many memoirs, and she lived a far more interesting life — before and after Sean’s death — than do many who write about theirs. Her story — rich, unblinking and adroitly told — is one of strength, of getting past but not getting over.”

The Observer– “Gloriously rendered, beautifully written . . . an intimate and inspiring experience.”

Kirkus Reviews – “A courageous and finely crafted account soaked in tears of love and loss.”

BookPage “[An] intensely personal and appealing memoir. … Bring along a world map, set aside everything you know about healing from heartbreaking loss, and have yourself an unforgettable read.”

Stylist – “A cross between H is for Hawk and Wild . . . beautifully written.”

Sunday Express – “A courageous memoir of love and loss.”

The Christian Science Monitor“In her deft and lovely debut, the memoir Traveling with Ghosts, Fowler tells this wrenching story with grace and fortitude. … Just as Fowler’s difficult path after Sean’s death yields lessons about survival and resilience, her friendship with Anat and Talia, which continues to this day, yields its own lessons, of a kindness so extraordinary that it’s nearly as affecting as the tragedy at the book’s center.”

The Nervous Breakdown“We see a disappeared relationship reconstructed and celebrated . . . there’s also true poignancy and insight into self and relationships here and enough clever linguistic turns to satisfy the most literary of readers.”

BookRiot – “Raw. … Powerful. … Redemptive.”

Harpers Bazaar – “A new novel that was worth waiting for. Our literary editor praises Shannon Leone Fowler‘s courageous book about the death of her fiancé in 2002.”

The Times – “This is a rich and absorbing memoir that shows the reader what it feels like to lose your future in a matter of seconds in a faraway land.”

Publisher’s Weekly – “Fowler’s moving account traces her grief. … She spent time with the two Israeli women who supported her throughout the ordeal in Thailand; she ventures to war-ravaged Sarajevo. … Wherever she travels, however, memories of her fiancé are with her.”

Bookshelf – “(Fowler’s) financé, Sean, is stung by a venomous box jellyfish while they were swimming in Ko Phan Ngan, Thailand, dying instantly. And this was only two pages in.  My immediate thought after this: can Fowler hold my interest for the rest of the book? Can a five-minute death stretch to 300 pages? The answer is, yes.”

The Times Literary Supplement – “Her voice is resonant, calibrated by loss . . . it pays coherent tribute to lives cut short.”

Red – “Untethered and alone . . . she goes on a journey to make sense of her loss.”

Wanderlust – “Shannon Leone Fowler attempt(s) to make sense of her boyfriend’s shocking death by . . .  moving on to places that loudly resonate with mortality and grief.”


Original Essays

The Strange Pregnancy Fact That Helped Me Mourn My Fiancé’s Death in New York Magazine’s The Cut – “His voice is no longer in my head and I’ve long lost the memory of his smell, but Sean and his death have slowly become a part of who I am.”

The Life Less Ordinary in Lenny Letter – “A world traveler all her life, this single mom wishes she could trade her globe-trotting freedoms for the comforts of home — but she’s stuck halfway across the world.”

When Every Relationship is an Accidental Love Triangle in New York Magazine’s The Cut – “My fiancé died 15 years ago. But he’s still forever, and never, with me.”

My Fiancé Died, But his Backpack Still Haunts Me in – “I watched him go within minutes after a box jellyfish pierced his leg. Now an ambush sight or sound reminds me: He should be here.

Help Wanted, At Last in Real Simple“Bolstered by the pride and folly of youth, she conducted her life without the input or aid of others. Until the day a life-altering tragedy made her realize that sometimes the person who can’t ask for help is the one who needs it most.”

Book Notes at Largehearted Boy – “We met backpacking through Western Europe, where Sean traveled with a Discman and tinny, portable travel speakers. We listened to music all the time together, especially in bed. We made each other mix tapes while we were apart, that we sent in the post. And after he died, I found meaning in the lyrics of almost every song.”

There is a Light That Never Goes Out in ELLE Australia – “Stricken with grief after the death of her fiancé, Shannon Leone Fowler fled alone to the farthest reaches of the world to confront the past and finally move forward.”

Sea Glass: a marine biologist’s journey with the ocean through love and loss in Catamaran (October issue) – “For twenty years, I worked and planned and dreamed and studied to be a marine biologist. All of this, I did for love. And in some irrational corner of my young and privileged heart, I expected the ocean to love me in return.”

Focus in The Lonely Planet Travel Anthology: True Stories from the World’s Best Writers – “As you travel through these pages, may your mind be widened, your spirit enlivened, and your own path illuminated by these worldly word-journeys.” —Don George

A Journey Through Grief in Big Issue – “After tragically losing her fiancé, Shannon Leone Fowler found solace in unexpected places.” Buy the February 27, 2017 issue here

Coming soon!

Interview with Michael Berry (TBD)

Interview with Bookpodia (TBD)

Interview for documentary 72 Dangerous Animals Asia (TBD)