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The world may be getting smaller, but that doesn't mean it's any less varied, surprising, or exotic--as is made evident by the 25 essays collected in the inaugural edition of the Best American Travel Writing series. In search of America's sharpest, most original, and often, most curious travel writers, editor Bill Bryson and series editor Jason Wilson sifted through hundreds of stories. What the resulting collection demonstrates is that, as Wilson writes, travel stories matter: Having a travel writer report on particular things, small things, the specific ways in which people act and interact, is perhaps our best way of getting beyond the clichés that we tell each other about different places and cultures, and about ourselves.
"Travel is not about finding something. It's about getting lost -- that is, it is about losing yourself in a place and a moment. The little things that tether you to what's familiar are gone, and you become a conduit through which the sensation of the place is felt." The twenty pieces in this year's collection showcase the best travel writing from 2006. George Saunders travels to India to witness firsthand a fifteen-year-old boy who has been meditating motionless under a tree for months without food or water, and who many followers believe is the reincarnation of the Buddha. Matthew Power reveals trickle-down economics at work in a Philippine garbage dump. Jason Anthony describes the challenges of everyday life in Vostok, the coldest place on earth, where temperatures dip as low as -129 degrees and where, in midsummer, -20 degrees is considered a heat wave. David Halberstam, in one of his last published essays, recalls how an inauspicious Saigon restaurant changed the way he and other reporters in Vietnam saw the world. Ian Frazier analyzes why we get sick when traveling in out-of-the-way places. And Kevin Fedarko embarks on a drug-fueled journey in Djibouti, chewing psychotropic foliage in "the worst place on earth." Closer to home, Steve Friedman profiles a 410-pound man who set out to walk cross-country to lose weight and find happiness. Rick Bass chases the elusive concept of the West in America, and Jonathan Stern takes a hilarious Lonely Planet approach to his small Manhattan apartment.
The Best American Series®First, Best, and Best-SellingThe Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites . A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected--and most popular--of its kind. The Best American Travel Writing 2011 includesAndré Aciman, Christopher Buckley, Maureen Dowd,Verlyn Klinkenborg, Ariel Levy, Téa Obreht, Annie Proulx,Gary Shteyngart, William T. Vollmann,Emily Witt, and others
The Best American Series® First, Best, and Best-Selling The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected -- and most popular -- of its kind. The Best American Travel Writing 2012 includes Bryan Curtis, Lynn Freed, J. Malcolm Garcia, Peter Gwin, Pico Iyer, Mark Jenkins, Dimiter Kenarov, Robin Kirk, Kimberly Meyer, Paul Theroux, and others
Number-one New York Times best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed: A Love Story, Elizabeth Gilbert transports readers to far-flung locales with this collection of the year's lushest and most inspiring travel writing.
"Travel connoisseurs divide the world into those places they've been dying to visit or revisit and places they'd never set foot in but are glad someone else did. This year's volume of travel writing . . . focuses mostly on the latter with derring-do dispatches." -- USA Today A far-ranging collection of the best travel writing pieces published in 2013, collected by guest editor Paul Theroux. The Best American Travel Writing consistently includes a wide variety of pieces, illuminating the wonder, humor, fear, and exhilaration that greets all of us when we embark on a journey to a new place. Readers know that there is simply no other option when they want great travel writing.
In his introduction, guest editor Andrew McCarthy says that the best travel writing is "the anonymous and solitary traveler capturing a moment in time and place, giving meaning to his or her travels." The stories in The Best American Travel Writing 2015 demonstrate just that spirit, whether it is the story of a marine returning to Iraq a decade after his deployment, a writer retracing the footsteps of humanity as it spread from Africa throughout the world, or looking for love on a physics-themed cruise down the Rhone River. No matter what the subject, the writers featured in this volume boldly call out, "Yes, this matters. Follow me!" The Best American Travel Writing 2015 includes Iris Smyles, Paul Theroux, Christopher Solomon Patricia Marx, Kevin Baker, Benjamin Busch, Maud Newton Gary Shteyngart, Paul Salopek, and others ANDREW MCCARTHY, guest editor, is the author of the New York Times best-selling travel memoir The Longest Way Home. He has served as an editor at large at National Geographic Traveler and been named travel journalist of the year by the Society of American Travel Writers. He is also an actor and director. JASON WILSON, series editor, is the author of Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits and the digital wine series Planet of the Grapes. He has written for the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Daily News, and many other publications. He is the founding editor of The Smart Set and Table Matters.
W. H. Hudson was brought up on the pampas, where he learnt from gauchos about frontier life. After moving to London in 1874, Hudson lived in extreme poverty. Like his friend Joseph Conrad, Hudson was an exile, adapting to England. He never returned to Argentina. Wilson unravels Hudson's English dream, his natural history rambles, and his work to protect birds. He remains both a complex witness to his homeland before mass immigration and to his England of the mind, before the urban sprawl. Praise for Jason Wilson: Tireless, shrewd, erudite Jason Wilson, mixing hard fact and anthology, provides the perfect outfit of allusion and comparative experience - Jonathan Keates, Observer Put his treasure trove into your pocket. - Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times The idea is so simple that it must be original. This inaugural book might prove to be a landmark. - Nicholas Shakespeare, Daily Telegraph
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