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Risking Wreckage: A Memoir of Adventuring Out and Settling In

Some adventures are chosen, and some are not. Ironically, Jan’s worst adventure happened when a pickup truck sent her flying to land in the road while walking to work in Wisconsin in 2016. During recovery, a story unfolded with flashbacks to more memorable adventures and near-misses. Rooted in her parents’ instabilities and her mother’s mental illness, she left her Florida-based family at 18, determined to find a more peaceful life. Along the way, living in nine states and two African countries, her risky passions involved mountains, oceans, hot-air balloons, charging rhinos, dehydrated nomads, gun-toting Africa teenagers, and the chaos of marriage and motherhood. Avoiding wreckage with luck and some skill, and hiking through life’s thrills and challenges, the author eventually settled in a forest, where she knew from the beginning that peace waits to be claimed.


Jan Hogle had earned writing and poetry awards by the end of high school, writing her way through multiple degrees in cultural anthropology at state universities in Florida and Connecticut. For most of her career, she worked as an applied-research anthropologist in international public health. Jan and her husband settled in a Virginia forest in 2018 where she writes, hikes, and photographs full time. At age 69, she published Risking Wreckage, her first memoir. In 2022, she and her husband are co-authoring a memoir called Seven Years in Africa: a memoir of Sahel and Savannah.

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