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.

Book Review

December 27, 2015

By Barry Unsworth. National Geographic, 2004, 170 pp.

Even for the Greeks of old, “Crete was the most venerable and ancient place imaginable,” says the novelist Barry Unsworth in his chronicle of a trip he took to the island with his wife one spring. According to myth, Crete was the birthplace of Zeus, and it was where Zeus later carried Europa, daughter of a Phoenician king, having seduced her in the shape of a bull. “Crete then, not only gave Europe its name, it was where Europe began,” he says, “a truth Cretans have always known.”

Writing with imagery that is evocative but not flamboyant, Unsworth conveys the antiquity—as well as the spirit—of this rugged island which abounds in caves, gorges, and magnificent views of the sea. Visiting ruins, (more…)

Links of Interest

December 23, 2015

Four "newish" travel magazines noted by Wynelle Evans, a writer interested in travel. "Have not read the magazines themselves" yet, she says, but thought they might of interest:

The Travel Almanac
Roads & Kingdoms

If you do take a look at these publications, please let readers here know what you think.

Links of Interest

December 16, 2015

A list of favorite books from Ben Redmond (via Twitter):
The Best 11 Travel Books I Read in 2015

Book Review

December 9, 2015

Shopping for Porcupine: A Life in Arctic Alaska.
By Seth Kantner. Milkweed Editions, 2008, 240 pp.

Many years ago, a student in my writing seminar, a young woman who had grown up in Barrow, Alaska, said that she wanted to write a memoir—but not about herself: she wanted to write a memoir about the tundra. I didn’t fully get it at the time, and she didn’t get far with her project, but after reading Kantner’s book and seeing his spectacular photographs—of wildlife, ice, and tundra—I now understand the grip this powerful landscape had on her.

Kantner was born in Arctic Alaska—in an igloo—the younger son of Howie and Erna, both originally from Ohio, who felt the pull of that landscape and moved there in the sixties to live, like the natives, off the land. (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,
"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.
“An impressively insightful, deftly written, accessibly articulate, expertly knowledgeable, and decidedly analytical survey of…book reviewing today.”
Midwest Book Review
“Captivating stories in an anthology of epistolary fiction from the last 50 years.”

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