North-West by North: A Journal of a Voyage. By Dora Birtles. With a New Introduction by the Author. Originally published as A Journal of a Voyage in 1935. Beacon Press, Beacon/Virago Travelers, 1985, 432 pp.
Although it was first published in 1935, Dora Birtles’s North-West by North reads like a more contemporary work. This is mainly because her tale of a voyage from Australia to Singapore gives us the personal story—travel as exploration of self—that nowadays, in a world where so much has already been described, travel narratives are expected to provide. Read More
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Into the Heart of Borneo By Redmond O’Hanlon. Vintage Departures, Random House, 1987, 192 pp.
Into the Heart of Borneo fits into a venerable tradition in travel literature: the narrative written by a traveler who is happy to mock his fears, his near-disasters, and his general lack of suitable skills for his journey. An adventure cast partly as farce, the book is also an appreciation of a place, its wildlife, and its people, and it is thoroughly entertaining throughout. Read More