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By Josep Pla. 1979
Peter Bush, winner of the Ramon Llull Prize for Literary Translation, brings to English this most prolific and influential of… Catalan writers.Dripping with a panache that can turn in a comic instant to the most conciliatory humility, Josep Pla's foray into the land and sea most familiar to him will plunge readers head-first into its mysterious (and often tasty!) depths. Here are adventures and shipwrecks, raspy storytellers and the fishy meals that sustain them. After describing the process of beating an octopus with branches to soften up its flesh, Pla writes, "These are dishes that must be seen as a last resort." Pla inflects the mundane with the hidden rhythms of power sculpting culture, so that a hot supper is never just food--it embodies economic precarity and environmental erosion along with its own peculiar flavor. A lifetime of reporting on current events gave Pla the necessary skills to describe the world in all its gritty, funny, invigorating detail.
By Jamaica Kincaid. 2005
In this travel memoir, the acclaimed novelist Jamaica Kincaid chronicles a three-week trek through Nepal, the spectacular and exotic Himalayan… land, where she and her companions are gathering seeds for planting at home. The natural world and, in particular, plants and gardening are central to Kincaid’s work; in addition to such novels as Annie John and Lucy, Kincaid is the author of My Garden (Book): a collection of essays about her love of cultivating plants and gardens throughout her life. Among Flowers intertwines meditations on nature and stunning descriptions of the Himalayan landscape with observations on the ironies, difficulties, and dangers of this magnificent journey.For Kincaid and three botanist friends, Nepal is a paradise, a place where a single day’s hike can traverse climate zones, from subtropical to alpine, encompassing flora suitable for growing at their homes, from Wales to Vermont. Yet as she makes clear, there is far more to this foreign world than rhododendrons that grow thirty feet high. Danger, too, is a constant companion—and the leeches are the least of the worries. Unpredictable Maoist guerillas live in these perilous mountains, and when they do appear—as they do more than once—their enigmatic presence lingers long after they have melted back into the landscape. And Kincaid, who writes of the looming, lasting effects of colonialism in her works, necessarily explores the irony of her status as memsahib with Sherpas and bearers.A wonderful blend of introspective insight and beautifully rendered description, Among Flowers is a vivid, engrossing, and characteristically frank memoir from one of our most striking voices.
By Amy, Rick Rinehart. 2008
With its towering mountains, sun-scorched deserts, fierce wildlife, and hard-to-predict weather, the American West ranks among the most forbidding places… on Earth. Yet many are drawn to the beauty of this wild and rugged region. Some are daredevils. . . some are athletes. . . and some are outdoors enthusiasts who find themselves in a chilling battle for survival. In their extraordinary, heart-stopping true stories, you will discover how much can go wrong when people find themselves caught in the cross-hairs of nature's power. . . Dare To Survive Flash floods, plane crashes, animal attacks, avalanches, landslides--these devastating phenomena all too often claim the lives of men, women, and children in the American West. But some beat the odds, living to tell about their terrifying ordeals. There are inspirational stories of extreme survival and tremendous bravery. Of the hiker who--though armed with only a knife--survived a 30-minute nightmare with a cougar. . . of the backcountry snowboarder buried alive by an avalanche, saved with only minutes to spare. . . of the outdoorsman pinned by an 800-pound boulder who freed himself by amputating his own arm. And there are the unexplainable, senseless tragedies--the little girl whose mysterious disappearance at a national park was never solved. . . the inexperienced charter pilot who crashed trying to beat curfew in a snowstorm. . . and the veteran backwoods camper who, despite every precaution, fell victim to a fatal bear attack. What does it take to endure the impossible? Dare to Survive tackles that question as it vividly reminds us that when danger strikes, survival becomes the ultimate human challenge. "This frightening but enjoyable book reveals that Mother Nature has more ways to kill than even the toughest Mafia godfather. " --Ted Schwarz, author of Hollywood Confidential: How the Studios Beat the Mob at Their Own Game Rick Rinehart is a publisher, writer, and former Colorado Humanities Scholar whose honors include recognition by the National Park Service for contributions to wolf recovery in Yellowstone National Park. His wife, Amy Rinehart, is a former publisher of endurance sports books who consults with outdoor retail and environmental organizations in the development of publishing programs. Rick and Amy live in Lafayette, Colorado.
By Alan Sillitoe. 2007
This memoir and literary travelogue from one of the UK's most esteemed novelists offers rare insight into Cold War-era Russia.… In 1967, seeking an escape from his writing life, bestselling British novelist Alan Sillitoe embarks on a road trip from England to Russia via Harwich and Finland in his sturdy Peugeot. During his teens, the author had a cartographic fascination with the Battle of Stalingrad, and decades later he is still armed with intricate maps of the country based on British military intelligence, including one of the road from Leningrad to Moscow to Kiev, which he drew himself. Also in tow are a prismatic compass, binoculars, and a shortwave radio receiver. However, despite being so well prepared, Sillitoe embarks with naiveté about the political precariousness of an Englishman in the eyes of the Soviet regime. After passing through the endless days of a Scandinavian summer and a prolonged stop at a border control checkpoint--with his maps hidden in a secret compartment of the car--Sillitoe arrives in Leningrad. There, he meets George Andjaparidze, a worldly and candid English student who has been assigned by the Writers' Union to serve as the author's guide and keep him out of trouble. Though Sillitoe would rather continue his journey solo, Andjaparidze grows on him, and they begin what will become a lasting friendship. As soon as the duo leaves Leningrad, adventures and misadventures ensue. En route to Moscow, Sillitoe and Andjaparidze end up racing a pack of middle-age men in German sports cars partaking in a Berlin-to-Moscow rally. Sillitoe and Andjaparidze's time in the capital is equally fast-paced, consisting of late nights fueled by vodka, impounded rubles, caviar breakfasts, erudite parties, and a pat on the back from a traffic cop for writing about the working class. A winding drive across western Russia and into Yugoslavia follows, replete with rebellious literature students, a speech on freedom, a visit to Tolstoy's estate, accusations of espionage, and a near-fatal run-in with a brigade of Red Army tanks. At last the writer and guide reach their destination: Kursk, that fateful place where a Soviet victory in 1943 turned back the Nazi tide. But the story continues long after the road trip ends. Back in England, Andjaparidze visits Sillitoe and the two are caught up in a controversy surrounding the defection of the Soviet writer Anatoly Kuznetsov. Written from the perspective of another trip to Russia forty years later (Sillitoe was invited in 2005 by the British Council to return to Moscow), this travelogue provides a rare and intimate look at the country's history, a compassionate understanding of its troubled ideology, and a frank portrayal of its undeniable lure.
By Bernard Ollivier. 2003
Bernard Ollivier pushes onward in his attempt to become the first person to walk the entire length of the Great… Silk Road. &“A gripping account. More than just a travel story—this is a quest for the Other.&”—Alexis Liebaert, L&’Événement Picking up where Walking to Samarkand left off, Winds of the Steppe continues the astonishing tale of journalist Bernard Ollivier&’s 7,200-mile walk from Turkey to China along the Silk Road, the longest and most mythical trade route of all time. Taking readers from the snows of the Pamir Mountains to the backstreets of Kashgar—a Central Asian city that could be the setting for One Thousand and One Nights—to the Tian Shan Mountains to the endless Taklamakan and Gobi Deserts of China&’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Bernard Ollivier continues his epic foot journey along the Great Silk Road hoping to make his way to Han China and reach, at long last, the legendary city of Xi&’an. After traveling through a region dotted with former Buddhist shrines, Ollivier finds himself craving the warm welcome of Islamic lands, where, regardless of their culture or nationality, travelers are often treated as esteemed guests. Beyond the occasional vestige of the old Silk Road, Ollivier comes face to face with sites of religious significance, China&’s Great Wall, and of course thousands of everyday people along the way. As Ollivier tries to make sense of his journey and find connections between these people&’s daily lives and the so-called &“modern&” world, he does so with a sense of humility that transforms his personal journey into a universal quest.
By Peter LaSalle. 2020
The World Is a Book, Indeed chronicles in eleven rich personal essays the ongoing quest of award-winning writer Peter LaSalle… to embark on offbeat, often startlingly revelatory literary travel. LaSalle spends a summer roaming the lesser-known quarters of Paris, haunted by the writing of the French surrealists. In Hanoi, he meets for beers with the editors—two military men—of the Army Literature and Arts Magazine while investigating Vietnam’s acknowledged great modern novel, Bao Ninh’s The Sorrow of War. Other pieces find LaSalle on a strange nighttime drive through the streets of sprawling São Paulo in search of landmarks associated with Brazilian modernist poetry, bouncing around Africa to interview writers there when very young, exploring Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges's memorable stay in Texas, and traveling to Istanbul, Lisbon, Tunis, and elsewhere, as he considers major writers amid the settings that produced their works. Deeply felt and replete with insight into literature and life itself, even capable of evoking valid mind leaps in its innovative approaches, this is a collection for readers who love books and want to learn more about the places they originated, presented by a well-traveled guide with an intimate voice and a gift for the essay form.
Acclaimed travel writer Pam Mandel's thrilling account of a life-defining journey from the California suburbs to Israel to the Himalayan peaks and… back. Given the choice, Pam Mandel would say no and stay home. It was getting her nowhere, so she decided to say yes. Yes to hard work and hitch-hiking, to mean boyfriends and dirty travel, to unfolding the map and walking to its edges. Yes to unknown countries, night shifts, language lessons, bad decisions, to anything to make her feel real, visible, alive. A product of beige California suburbs, Mandel was overlooked and unexceptional. When her father ships her off on a youth group tour of Israel, he inadvertently catapults his seventeen-year-old daughter into a world of angry European backpackers, seize-the-day Israelis, and the fall out of cold war-era politics. Border violence hadn't been on the birthright tour agenda. But then neither had domestic violence, going broke, getting wasted, getting sick, or getting lost. With no guidance and no particular plan, utterly unprepared for what lies ahead, Mandel says yes to everything and everyone, embarking on an adventure across three continents and thousands of miles, from a cold water London flat to rural Pakistan, from the Nile River Delta to the snowy peaks of Ladakh and finally, back home to California, determined to shape a life that is truly hers. An extraordinary memoir of going away and growing up, The Same River Twice follows Mandel's tangled journey and shows how travel teaches and changes us, even while it helps us become exactly who we have been all along.
By Robert Macfarlane, Jason Wilson. 2020
The year&’s best travel writing, as chosen by series editor Jason Wilson and guest editor Robert Macfarlane. Writing, reading, and… dreaming about travel have surged, writes Robert MacFarlane in his introduction to the Best American Travel Writing 2020. From an existential reckoning in avalanche school, to an act of kindness at the Mexican-American border, to a moral dilemma at a Kenyan orphanage, the journeys showcased in this collection are as spiritual as they are physical. These stories provide not just remarkable entertainment, but also, as MacFarlane says, deep comfort, &“carrying hope, creating connections, transporting readers to other-worlds, and imagining alternative presents and alternative futures.&” The Best American Travel 2020 includes HEIDI JULAVITS • YIYUN LI • PAUL SALOPEK • LACY JOHNSON • EMMANUEL IDUMA • JON MOOALLEM • EMILY RABOTEAU and others
By Alastair Bonnett. 2020
There are millions of islands on our planet. New islands are being built at an unprecedented rate, for tourism and… territorial ambition. Many are also disappearing, besieged by rising sea levels. The story of our world’s islands is one of the great dramas of our time, and it is playing out around the planet—islands are sprouting or being submerged everywhere from the South China Sea to the Atlantic. Elsewhere is the story of this strange and mesmerizing planetary spectacle. In this book, explorer and geographer Alastair Bonnett takes us on a thought-provoking tour of the world’s most fascinating islands. He traveled the globe to provide a firsthand look at numerous islands, sketching a vivid likeness of each one he visited. From a “crannog,” an ancient artificial island in a Scottish loch, to the militarized artificial islands China is building; from the disappearing islands that remain the home of native Central Americans to the ritzy new islands of Dubai; from Hong Kong to the Isles of Scilly—all have compelling stories to tell. As we journey around the world with Bonnett, he addresses urgent contemporary issues such as climate change, economic inequality and the changing balance of world power as reflected in the fates of islands. Along the way, we also learn about the many ways islands rise and fall, the long and little-known history of human island building and the prospect that the inland hills and valleys will one day be archipelagos. Featuring Bonnett’s charming hand-drawn maps and 33 full-color photos, Elsewhere is a captivating travel book for any armchair adventurer.
By Florence S. Boos. 2021
William Morris (1834–96) was an English poet, decorative artist, translator, romance writer, book designer, preservationist, socialist theorist, and political activist,… whose admirers have been drawn to the sheer intensity of his artistic endeavors and efforts to live up to radical ideals of social justice. This Companion draws together historical and critical responses to the impressive range of Morris’s multi-faceted life and activities: his homes, travels, family, business practices, decorative artwork, poetry, fantasy romances, translations, political activism, eco-socialism, and book collecting and design. Each chapter provides valuable historical and literary background information, reviews relevant opinions on its subject from the late-nineteenth century to the present, and offers new approaches to important aspects of its topic. Morris’s eclectic methodology and the perennial relevance of his insights and practice make this an essential handbook for those interested in art history, poetry, translation, literature, book design, environmentalism, political activism, and Victorian and utopian studies.
By Elizabeth J. Clapp. 2016
During her long career as a public figure in Jacksonian America, Anne Royall was called everything from an "enemy of… religion" to a "Jackson man" to a "common scold. " In her search for the source of such strong reactions, Elizabeth Clapp has uncovered the story of a widely read woman of letters who asserted her right to a political voice without regard to her gender. Widowed and in need of a livelihood following a disastrous lawsuit over her husband’s will, Royall decided to earn her living through writing--first as a travel writer, journeying through America to research and sell her books, and later as a journalist and editor. Her language and forcefully expressed opinions provoked people at least as much as did her inflammatory behavior and aggressive marketing tactics. An ardent defender of American liberties, she attacked the agents of evangelical revivals, the Bank of the United States, and corruption in government. Her positions were frequently extreme, directly challenging the would-be shapers of the early republic’s religious and political culture. She made many enemies, but because she also attracted many supporters, she was not easily silenced. The definitive account of a passionate voice when America was inventing itself, A Notorious Woman re-creates a fascinating stage on which women’s roles, evangelical hegemony, and political involvement were all contested.
By William Humphrey. 1970
William Humphrey's delightful chronicle of an angling holiday in Wales celebrates two equally astonishing creatures: the Atlantic salmon and the… British fly fisherman In order to mate in the same freshwater stream where it was spawned, the salmon swims one thousand miles or more and overcomes countless obstacles, from trawling nets to twelve-foot-high waterfalls. To catch the King of Fish at the end of its incredible journey, the Anglo-Saxon angler subjects his pride, his bank account, and his taste buds--poached milk, anyone?--to similar dangers. Nine out of ten salmon do not make it back to the sea once their spawning run is finished; nine out of ten sportsmen return to the hotel empty handed when the fishing day is done. And yet, year after year, they return to the rivers and streams of Great Britain--fish and angler both. Why? Perhaps "poor Holloway," who has yet to land a salmon after twenty spawning seasons but whose success rate with the bored wives of more skillful fisherman is scandalously impressive, knows the answer. An elegant blend of fishing narrative, travelogue, and character study, The Spawning Run is a hilarious and heartfelt tribute to the irresistible passions that unite us all: man, woman, and salmon. This ebook features an illustrated biography of William Humphrey including rare photos form the author's estate.
By Alan Sillitoe. 1995
A journey into nineteenth-century travel guides to the UK, Europe, and Soviet Union as researched and written by one of… England's most distinguished authors. In this quirky and illuminating social history, bestselling British author Alan Sillitoe culls fascinating details from Victorian-era guidebooks and travelogues in order to recount the pleasures, dangers, traps, and delights of travel in the century leading up to World War I. For instance, in Switzerland, an English officer once fell into a bears' den and was "torn in pieces." In Paris, the outdoor seating at cafés was in "unpleasant proximity to the gutters." In Germany and the Rhine, the denominations marked on coins did not necessarily indicate their value. And in Northern Italy, a traveler could look forward to a paradise of citron and myrtle, palms and cyclamen. For the armchair traveler journeying into a bygone era, Sillitoe begins with the essential practicalities relevant to any tourist: the price of passports and visas, how best to clear customs, and how many bags to pack. He includes timeless advice, such as: Board a boat on an empty stomach if you are prone to seasickness, and always break in your boots before embarking on a trip. Anachronistic recommendations abound as well: It is best to leave your servant at home, carry your milk with you when traveling to small Italian villages, and not pay children and "donkey women" for flowers. From convalescent hotels in the South of France to malaria-ridden marshes between Rome and Naples, and from the chaos of Sicily and southern Italy to the dazzling bullfights and rampant thieves of sunny Spain, Sillitoe guides readers through the minutiae of the Mediterranean with wit and historical insight. Then he takes an anecdote-filled road east into Greece, Egypt, the Holy Lands, Turkey, and Russia. Of course, the Grand Tour would not be complete without a thorough account of his home turf of England, with her idiosyncratic hamlets, smoke-filled skies, and working-class townsfolk in high-buckled shoes. At once a fascinating history of travel books from 1815 to 1914 and an entertaining ode to wanderlust, Leading the Blind brings to life the absurd and profound wonders of Victorian globetrotting. With simple but captivating prose, Sillitoe also shows how the way we view foreign lands can reveal a lot about what is happening at home.
By George Alagiah. 2001
As a five-year-old, George Alagiah emigrated with his family to Ghana - the first African country to attain independence from… the British Empire. A PASSAGE TO AFRICA is Alagiah's shattering catalogue of atrocities crafted into a portrait of Africa that is infused with hope, insight and outrage. In vivid and evocative prose and with a fine eye for detail Alagiah's viewpoint is spiked with the freshness of the young George on his arrival in Ghana, the wonder with which he recounts his first impressions of Africa and the affection with which he dresses his stories of his early family life. A sense of possibility lingers, even though the book is full of uncomfortable truths. It is a book neatly balanced on his integrity and sense of obligation in his role as a writer and reporter. The shock of recognition is always there, but it is the personal element that gives A PASSAGE TO AFRICA its originality. Africa becomes not only a group of nations or a vast continent, but an epic of individual pride and suffering.
&“In an age that values faster and faster travel, Lane&’s river memoir affirms the great value of floating and observing.&”—Booklist… Three months after a family vacation in Costa Rica ends in tragedy when two fellow rafters die on the flooded Rio Reventazón, John Lane sets out with friends from his own backyard in upcountry South Carolina to calm his nerves and to paddle to the sea. Like Huck Finn, Lane sees a river journey as a portal to change, but unlike Twain&’s character, Lane isn&’t escaping. He&’s getting intimate with the river that flows right past his home in the Spartanburg suburbs. Lane&’s three-hundred-mile float trip takes him down the Broad River and into Lake Marion before continuing down the Santee River. Along the way, Lane recounts local history and spars with streamside literary presences such as Mind of the South author W. J. Cash; Henry Savage, author of the Rivers of America Series volume on the Santee; novelist and Pulitzer Prize–winner Julia Peterkin; early explorer John Lawson; and poet and outdoor writer Archibald Rutledge. Lane ponders the sites of old cotton mills; abandoned locks, canals, and bridges; ghost towns fallen into decay a century before; Indian mounds; American Revolutionary and Civil War battle sites; nuclear power plants; and boat landings. Along the way he encounters a cast of characters Twain himself would envy—perplexed fishermen, catfish cleaners, river rats, and a trio of drug-addled drifters on a lonely boat dock a day&’s paddle from the sea. By the time Lane and his companions finally approach the ocean about forty miles north of Charleston, they have to fight the tide and set a furious pace. Through it all, paddle stroke by paddle stroke, Lane is reminded why life and rivers have always been wedded together.
By D. H. Lawrence. 2009
From the celebrated English author of Sons and Lovers, a collection of essays focused on indigenous life in Mexico and… the American Southwest.D. H. Lawrence&’s interest in and real affection for Mexico and the American Southwestern regions and its peoples eclipsed ordinary travel writing. These essays hold great significance for those interested in the wider context of these cultures, as well as those interested in Lawrence as a writer. This is the largest collection of essays about Mexican and Southwestern Indians from Lawrence that has ever been published. Including an early version of &“Pan in America&” which appears here for the first time, previously unpublished passages from other essays, extant manuscripts, typescripts, appendices, and extensive publication notes, this collection contains Lawrence&’s fundamental thoughts on Mesoamerican mythology and history.
By D. H. Lawrence. 1999
From the author of The Rainbow, a travelogue of his journey through central Italy during the reign of Mussolini. Written… in 1927 after visiting several Etruscan cities in central Italy, six of the seven essays contained in Sketches of Etruscan Places were posthumously published in 1932. The seventh, &“The Florence Museum&” is published here for the first time, along with forty-five illustrations reproduced with D. H. Lawrence&’s own captions. The second part of this volume contains eight additional essays about Florence and the Tuscan countryside.
By D. H. Lawrence. 2018
From the author of Lady Chatterly&’s Lover, a travelogue of a journey with his wife that offers a glimpse of… post–World War I Europe. After the First World War, when D. H. Lawrence was living in Sicily, he traveled to Sardinia and back in January 1921. This record of what he saw on that journey, Sea and Sardinia, not only reveals his response to new landscapes, new people, and his ability to capture their spirit into literary art, but is also a shrewd inquiry into the post-war values which led to the rise of communism and fascism in various countries around the world. A celebration of the human spirit despite its indictment of materialism, this collection of travel writings has restored passages and corrected corrupted textual readings for the definitive version of the book Lawrence himself called &“a marvel of veracity.&”
By D. H. Lawrence. 2018
The author of Sea and Sardinia and Mornings in Mexico shares essays on his travels to Germany, Austria, and Italy.… D. H. Lawrence first left England in 1912 and almost immediately began recording his reaction to foreign cultures. Many of those writings became a series of travel articles intended to be published in newspapers; two of them are published here for the first time, deemed too anti-German at the time. Other essays were modified and added to even more observations for Lawrence&’s first travel book, Twilight in Italy, published in 1916. Shaped by the atmosphere of the War, and its rampant anxieties, these essays are imbued with Lawrence&’s intellectual daring and confidence, which raise them above a conventional travel book.
By Peter Matthiessen, Pico Iyer. 1978
An unforgettable spiritual journey through the Himalayas by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014)<P><P> In 1973, Peter Matthiessen and field biologist… George Schaller traveled high into the remote mountains of Nepal to study the Himalayan blue sheep and possibly glimpse the rare and beautiful snow leopard. Matthiessen, a student of Zen Buddhism, was also on a spiritual quest to find the Lama of Shey at the ancient shrine on Crystal Mountain. As the climb proceeds, Matthiessen charts his inner path as well as his outer one, with a deepening Buddhist understanding of reality, suffering, impermanence, and beauty. <P> This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by acclaimed travel writer and novelist Pico Iyer.<P> Winner of the National Book Award