THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING 2011 by Sloane Crosley

THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING 2011

edited by

KIRKUS REVIEW

An eclectic but not particularly strong collection of pieces involving travel around the globe and around the yard.

Independent columnist Crosley (How Did You Get This Number, 2010, etc.) presents a wide variety of pieces, including André Aciman’s search for Monet sites in Bordighera, Christopher Buckley’s brief account of a year on a tramp freighter, Keith Gessen’s grousings about Moscow traffic and Emily Witt’s sophomoric snippets about her drinking and partying in Miami. At times, Crosley seems bent on juxtaposing pieces to see what light may emerge from the collision, say, between Téa Obreht’s peregrinations in the Balkans hearing vampire stories and Annie Proulx’s quiet walks around her Wyoming ranch observing the wildlife. At other times, the editor places shorter pieces (Gary Shteyngart’s cryptic ruminations about Russians in Israel) before longer ones (William T. Vollmann’s six visits to Kirkuk to learn about the Kurds and the explosive politics in the region). There are essays by writers who went to geographical extremes (Justin Nobel to Arctic Quebec, Verlyn Klinkenborg to a remote area of Australia, Maureen Dowd to Saudi Arabia) and those who stuck closer to home (Ariel Levy to the Hamptons for an enlightening piece about Indian casinos, Jessica McCaughey on a local hike where she tried to cure her inept internal GPS). Some pieces have moments that are downright harrowing: Mischa Berlinski’s views of earthquake devastation in Haiti, Tom Ireland’s time in Mumbai while terrorists were killing people.

Although these writers invariably have something novel to say, there aren’t a lot of moments that will make armchair travelers race out to renew their passports.

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-547-33336-6
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2011




MORE BY SLOANE CROSLEY

NonfictionHOW DID YOU GET THIS NUMBER by Sloane Crosley
by Sloane Crosley
NonfictionI WAS TOLD THERE’D BE CAKE by Sloane Crosley
by Sloane Crosley

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionTHE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING 2000 by Bill Bryson
by Bill Bryson
NonfictionTHE PLACES IN BETWEEN by Rory Stewart
by Rory Stewart
NonfictionRATS by Robert Sullivan
by Robert Sullivan