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, Read More
TraveLit--A blog about travel literature.
Even with the best of maps and instruments, we can never fully chart our journeys.
The Travel Almanac
Roads & Kingdoms
If you do take a look at these publications, please let readers here know what you think. Read More
The Best 11 Travel Books I Read in 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. Read More