top of page


Same Ground: Chasing Family Down the
California Gold Rush Trail

Russell Wangersky’s great-great grandfather crossed the continent in search of gold in 1849. His name was William Castle Dodge, and he was 22 years old. He wrote a diary of that eventful journey that came into the author’s hands 160 years later. Wangersky decided to follow Dodge’s westward trail across the great bulging middle of America, not in search of gold but something even less likely: that elusive thing called family. 

Interweaving his experiences on the road (by car, accompanied by his wife) with Dodge’s diary account of the long trip by mule and on foot, the author contemplates the human need to hunt for roots and meaning. Both he and Dodge encounter immigrants who risk everything to be somewhere else, while only glimpsing those who are there already and who want to hold onto their claim in the stream of human migration. 

Both profound and at times hilarious, Same Ground is a story about what time washes away and what persists — and what we might find, unexpectedly, if we go looking.

Read a REVIEW in the Miramichi Reader. 

News: About Me

Russell launched Same Ground on October 5th at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon. Missed it? Watch it on YouTube.

Russell launch2 with Marina Oct 5 McNally Sask.jpg
News: Welcome



Thurs., Nov. 3  6-9 p.m. (TBD), St. John's - Memorial University - Room TBD

Join Russell Wangersky for this return engagement to St. John's for a reading, discussion and signing, hosted by the Literary Press Group. Watch this space for confirmed time and room on Memorial University's St. John's campus.

News: List
bottom of page