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1 Burnside Travel Writing- General

My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who's Been Everywhere

by

My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who's Been Everywhere Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Susan Orlean has been called "a national treasure" by The Washington Post and “a kind of latter-day Tocqueville” by The New York Times Book Review. In addition to having written classic articles for The New Yorker, she was played, with some creative liberties, by Meryl Streep in her Golden Globe Award-winning performance in the film Adaptation.

Now, in My Kind of Place, the real Susan Orlean takes readers on a series of remarkable journeys in this uniquely witty, sophisticated, and far-flung travel book. In this irresistible collection of adventures far and near, Orlean conducts a tour of the world via its subcultures, from the heart of the African music scene in Paris to the World Taxidermy Championships in Springfield, Illinois — and even into her own apartment, where she imagines a very famous houseguest taking advantage of her hospitality.

With Orlean as guide, lucky readers partake in all manner of armchair activity. They will climb Mt. Fuji and experience a hike most intrepid Japanese have never attempted; play ball with Cuba's Little Leaguers, promising young athletes born in a country where baseball and politics are inextricably intertwined; trawl Icelandic waters with Keiko, everyone's favorite whale as he tries to make it on his own; stay awhile in Midland, Texas, hometown of George W. Bush, a place where oil time is the only time that matters; explore the halls of a New York City school so troubled it's known as "Horror High"; and stalk caged tigers in Jackson, New Jersey, a suburban town with one of the highest concentrations of tigers per square mile anywhere in the world.

Vivid, humorous, unconventional, and incomparably entertaining, Susan Orlean's writings for The New Yorker have delighted readers for over a decade. My Kind of Place is an inimitable treat by one of America's premier literary journalists.

Review:

"Orlean (The Orchid Thief) hasn't so much been everywhere as she's been everywhere no one else has thought to go. In this collection, she focuses not on cities but on singular locales and events. She zooms in on an African music shop in Paris, a grocery store in Queens and a fertility blessing ceremony in Bhutan. Belying the book's bland title, Orlean's essays are rich in color, metaphor and crafty language. For example, in Iceland, 'the wind never huffs or puffs but simply blows your house down.' Orlean's subtle humor infuses her writing as she uncovers strange beauties: a taxidermy convention is 'a surreal carnality, but all conveyed with the usual trade show earnestness and hucksterism, with no irony and no acknowledgment that having buckets of bear noses for sale was anything out of the ordinary.' Orlean uses the word 'travel' loosely; 'I view all stories as journeys,' she explains. Indeed, many of the final pieces aren't grounded by place, but they nicely round out an insightful collection by an exceptional essayist. Agent, Richard Pine. (On sale Nov. 2) Forecast: This is Orlean's first book since the release of Adaptation (based on The Orchid Thief), which helped the author gain widespread recognition. Author publicity, a reading tour and print ads could make this a popular holiday pick. Simultaneous audio release." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Smooth and snazzy collection....A gathering of savories, many revelatory, each a delight and a small work of art." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Orlean is an adventurous journalist with a great instinct for offbeat stories, a playful sense of humor, and a dynamic prose style....[An] enormously pleasurable gathering of canny, vivid travel pieces and sprightly essays..." Booklist

Review:

"The weaker stories in the collection come when Orlean shines the light on herself....But these stories don't detract from the whole, and with this book Orlean adds another set of witty, thoughtful works to her impressive canon." Baltimore Sun

Review:

"Orlean is funny, smart and has a wonderful sense of the absurd. She can draw people out and craft a cunning story from their seemingly prosaic lives." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"All but a handful of these 30 pieces originally appeared in The New Yorker, where Orlean is a staff writer. Some are so well rendered they transcend place and almost describe states of mind." Kansas City Star

Review:

"Orlean is still...one of our best essayists, and her ability to evoke a place or person in a sort of literary shorthand is as solid as it ever was....My Kind of Place is sure to appeal to Orlean fans, as well as to those of us just along for the ride." The Oregonian (Portland, OR)

Review:

"Orlean not only sees past the predictable and boring, but she lets us see it as well. She captures the sense of place that is crucial to travel writing, but with a literary twist, bringing depth to her subjects with a Hemingway-like brevity." Providence Journal

Review:

"Grounded in Orlean's relentless curiosity, her slightly skewed take on human nature and her magnetic writing style, many of the stories are minor masterpieces." Denver Post

Review:

"Orlean has built a reputation for being one of the sharpest, most astute observers of contemporary American life. With My Kind of Place, she has turned her amused, affectionate gaze on the rest of the world." Boston Globe

About the Author

Susan Orlean has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1992. Her articles have also appeared in Outside, Rolling Stone, Vogue, and Esquire. She is the author of Saturday Night, a New York Times Notable Book of 1990, which, in the words of Entertainment Weekly, "calls to mind Damon Runyon, Evelyn Waugh, and screwball comedy." She lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Lifelike [Springfield, IL] 3
A place called Midland [Midland, TX] 13
Beautiful girls [Prattville, AL] 23
Party line [Dimondale, MI] 39
Madame president [New York City, NY] 43
All mixed up [Queens, NY] 55
The lady and the tigers [Jackson, NJ] 89
Super-duper [Miami, FL] 103
The homesick restaurant [Miami, FL, and Havana, Cuba] 111
Rough diamonds [Havana, Cuba] 123
Carbonaro and primavera [Cienfuegos, Cuba] 133
The Congo sound [Paris, France] 137
Like waters and chocolate pancakes [Heviz, Hungary] 147
Shooting party [Biggar, Scotland] 151
Fertile ground [Bhutan] 155
Do we transcend before or after we purchase the commemorative eel cakes? [Mount Fuji, Japan] 169
Game plan [Sydney, Australia] 188
The place to disappear [Bangkok, Thailand] 191
Homewrecker 203
The world 205
Skymalling 209
We just up and left 217
Art for everybody 229
Intensive care 241
Royalty 243
Uplifting 247
My life : a series of performance art pieces 249
Shiftless little loafers 253
Where's Willy? 257
Shadow memory 273

Product Details

ISBN:
9780812974874
Author:
Orlean, Susan
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Voyages and travels
Subject:
Orlean, Susan
Subject:
Travel
Subject:
Orlean, Susan - Travel
Subject:
Travel Writing-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20051031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.00x5.32x.73 in. .53 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Journalism » Journalists
Travel » Travel Writing » General

My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who's Been Everywhere Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812974874 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Orlean (The Orchid Thief) hasn't so much been everywhere as she's been everywhere no one else has thought to go. In this collection, she focuses not on cities but on singular locales and events. She zooms in on an African music shop in Paris, a grocery store in Queens and a fertility blessing ceremony in Bhutan. Belying the book's bland title, Orlean's essays are rich in color, metaphor and crafty language. For example, in Iceland, 'the wind never huffs or puffs but simply blows your house down.' Orlean's subtle humor infuses her writing as she uncovers strange beauties: a taxidermy convention is 'a surreal carnality, but all conveyed with the usual trade show earnestness and hucksterism, with no irony and no acknowledgment that having buckets of bear noses for sale was anything out of the ordinary.' Orlean uses the word 'travel' loosely; 'I view all stories as journeys,' she explains. Indeed, many of the final pieces aren't grounded by place, but they nicely round out an insightful collection by an exceptional essayist. Agent, Richard Pine. (On sale Nov. 2) Forecast: This is Orlean's first book since the release of Adaptation (based on The Orchid Thief), which helped the author gain widespread recognition. Author publicity, a reading tour and print ads could make this a popular holiday pick. Simultaneous audio release." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Smooth and snazzy collection....A gathering of savories, many revelatory, each a delight and a small work of art."
"Review" by , "Orlean is an adventurous journalist with a great instinct for offbeat stories, a playful sense of humor, and a dynamic prose style....[An] enormously pleasurable gathering of canny, vivid travel pieces and sprightly essays..."
"Review" by , "The weaker stories in the collection come when Orlean shines the light on herself....But these stories don't detract from the whole, and with this book Orlean adds another set of witty, thoughtful works to her impressive canon."
"Review" by , "Orlean is funny, smart and has a wonderful sense of the absurd. She can draw people out and craft a cunning story from their seemingly prosaic lives."
"Review" by , "All but a handful of these 30 pieces originally appeared in The New Yorker, where Orlean is a staff writer. Some are so well rendered they transcend place and almost describe states of mind."
"Review" by , "Orlean is still...one of our best essayists, and her ability to evoke a place or person in a sort of literary shorthand is as solid as it ever was....My Kind of Place is sure to appeal to Orlean fans, as well as to those of us just along for the ride."
"Review" by , "Orlean not only sees past the predictable and boring, but she lets us see it as well. She captures the sense of place that is crucial to travel writing, but with a literary twist, bringing depth to her subjects with a Hemingway-like brevity."
"Review" by , "Grounded in Orlean's relentless curiosity, her slightly skewed take on human nature and her magnetic writing style, many of the stories are minor masterpieces."
"Review" by , "Orlean has built a reputation for being one of the sharpest, most astute observers of contemporary American life. With My Kind of Place, she has turned her amused, affectionate gaze on the rest of the world."
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