May Adrales: Stranger in a Familiar Land

By Sean O’Leary


You could argue that it all started with Homer transporting the always-beset Odysseus from one strange and scary place to another. And Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels emphatically established it as a literary genre. Then, Robert Heinlein’s 1961 novel, Stranger in a Strange Land, gave the genre a name. So that by the time Charlton Heston donned a loincloth in “Planet of The Apes” and made “the stranger in a strange land” a pop-culture phenomenon, we were accustomed to bonding with unfortunate outsiders who struggle to adapt to alien cultures where conven-tion as they or as we know it is turned on its head.

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