Book Review: She Played Elvis

A road trip often makes a good travel narrative, and a pilgrimage from Australia, around the United States by Greyhound, ending up in Memphis for the twenty-fifth anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death is the perfect road trip premise behind Shady Cosgrove’s book She Played Elvis: A Pilgrimage to Graceland.

She Played Elvis

Inspired by Paul Simon’s lyrics in the song “Graceland”, Cosgrove’s goal is to “be received in Graceland”, and along the way the young American who’s left her home nation to settle in Australia gets to revisit old friends and relatives and also reflect on her upbringing, her absent father, and the nature of being American. She and her boyfriend Scotty set out from her mother’s home in Seattle to ride Greyhound buses half-way around the United States, stopping at significant places to busk her small-ish repertoire of Elvis songs with her guitar.

The story seemlessly cuts beween Cosgrove’s childhood and her Greyhound bus adventure, and we get a good insight into modern day America through the people she and Scotty meet along the way. Getting chased off the strip in Vegas by security guards, touring the curious Graceland Too memorial mansion in Holly Springs and finally making it to Graceland, She Played Elvis is a fun story for anyone who’s curious about the legend of the King.
Creative Commons License Photo credit: jbcurio