Pleasant narrative adventures for the armchair traveler.



A Lonely Planet editor’s compendium of 30 travel essays by an eclectic group of contemporary fiction writers.

Following up on the success of Better than Fiction (2012), George began collecting the pieces that comprise this volume with the intent to present another “moving microcosm of our modern world.” Though not all the essays are equally strong, George's efforts have produced a book that is nevertheless quite engaging. This latest volume offers work by luminaries like Jane Smiley and Dave Eggers, as well as work by newer talents like Porochista Khakpour. The pieces are set all over the world and include destinations as near as Mississippi and Idaho and as far away as Iceland, India, and Saudi Arabia. A few of the stories, such as Karen Joy Fowler’s “An Italian Education” and Khakpour’s “My Mississippi,” explore the ways travel can shape the development of youthful emotional, aesthetic, and/or sexual sensibilities and bring personal identity into sharper focus. Some, such as Eggers’ “The Road to Riyadh” and Mandi Sayer’s “Sleepless in Samoa,” depict the misunderstandings and sometimes-comic misadventures adult travelers often experience when venturing into lands far different from their own. As Lydia Millet observes in “Rocky Point,” “travel has a way of turning us into children” who have the choice to consciously grow beyond their vulnerabilities, prejudices, and misconceptions about others. Indeed, the trope of travel as the great teacher is played out in many other entries, such as Shirley Streshinsky’s “Travels with Suna.” The author reflects on her 30-year cross-continental interactions with an Indian woman who showed her the true meaning of friendship. As diverse as these essays are, one common thread—apart from the fact that they are all by fiction writers—unites them: beyond particulars of time and place, life is the greatest journey of all. Other contributors include Alexander McCall Smith, Francine Prose, Lily King, and DBC Pierre.

Pleasant narrative adventures for the armchair traveler.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-74360-749-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Lonely Planet

Review Posted Online: Sept. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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