My aim on TraveLit is to introduce readers who share my love of travel literature to good books they may not know about. Mostly classics, some new, the books cover travel in its many forms, from exploration to tourism. Along with reviews, TraveLit also brings together provocative, entertaining travel quotations and reader recommendations. I welcome comments on the readings, the reviews, the quotations, or the fascinating enterprise of travel itself.

TraveLit--A blog about travel literature

Even with the best of maps and instruments, we can never fully chart our journeys.

Travel Quotation

April 28, 2014

“On foot, unlike other forms of travel, it is impossible to be out of touch.”
―Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time of Gifts

Book Review

April 26, 2014

A Visit to Don Otavio: A Mexican Journey
By Sybille Bedford. Introduction by Bruce Chatwin. Originally published in 1953. Dutton, Obelisk Paperback, 1986, 288 pp.

A Visit to Don Otavio was the first book published by Sybille Bedford, a novelist and journalist admired for her intelligence, wit, and prose style. Originally published in 1953 as The Sudden View: A Mexican Journey, the book was wisely reprinted by Dutton in 1986 and renamed with a title that is at once slightly misleading and also more apt. Misleading, because much of the work focuses on other Mexican travels ; apt, because the visit to Don Otavio is the centerpiece of the work and Otavio himself unquestionably the star. (more…)

Links of Interest

April 23, 2014

Travel writer Elizabeth Marcus has written some wonderful essays, especially—and most humorously—about traveling with family. I recommend taking a look at her beautifully illustrated website.


Travel Quotation

April 16, 2014

"Traveling makes one modest...You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world."
―Flaubert

Book Review

April 3, 2014

Spring Jaunts: Some Walks, Excursions and Personal Explorations of Town, Country and Seashore.
By Anthony Bailey. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1986, 251 pp.

For Anthony Bailey, landscape is a text he reads and elucidates with obvious pleasure. Where some writers use place as a springboard for a personal essay, Bailey does the reverse, using some personal tie as a springboard for writing about a place: its topography, its inhabitants, its history. (more…)

Selected Works

Travel Memoir
"Loved this book, which appears to be but is more than an account of an anthropological expedition, more than a travel book, more than a memoir."--Barbara Beckwith, author of What Was I Thinking?: Digging Deeper into Everyday Racism, barbarabeckwith.net.
***
"It is undoubtedly the best written account of, and reflection on, fieldwork I have read, and --perhaps -- the best book on fieldwork (period) I have come across. --Joel Savishinsky, Professor of Anthropology (Emeritus), Ithaca College, author of Trail of the Hare.
Nonfiction
“An impressively insightful, deftly written, accessibly articulate, expertly knowledgeable, and decidedly analytical survey of…book reviewing today.”
Midwest Book Review
Anthology
“Captivating stories in an anthology of epistolary fiction from the last 50 years.”
Kirkus

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