Synopses & Reviews
The inaugural edition of THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING reads like a good novel, conveying both the surface identity of places around the world and their intrinsic character. In choosing only pieces of the highest quality, best-selling author Bill Bryson and series editor Jason Wilson have put together a book that will surprise knowledgeable travelers and entrance beginners with the glories of new worlds and experiences.
Articles by such well-loved writers as Bill Buford, Tim Cahill, Dave Eggers, David Halberstam, Isabel Hilton, Jessica Maxwell, P. J. O'Rourke, and William T. Vollmann are included, as are those by exciting new voices. Ranging widely across myriad topics -- drinking the first drink of the day, breaking down in the middle of the desert, picking up hitchhikers in Cuba, playing golf in Greenland, smuggling cheese from France, witnessing the birth of a new state -- THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING 2000 showcases the diversity and creative wonder of travel writing today.
"[Best American Travel Writing] touches all the bases, and does it with panache." The San Francisco Chronicle
The extraordinary popularity of books and magazines dedicated to travel comes as no surprise, given that more and more Americans are traveling each year for business, pleasure, and especially adventure. Our fascination with travel has never been so well represented as in this new addition to the Best American series: a wide-ranging compendium of the best travel writing published in 1999, culled from more than three hundred magazines, newspapers, and Web sites.
This first collection of THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING reads like a good novel. Best-selling author Bill Bryson and series editor Jason Wilson have put together a book that will surprise knowledgeable travelers and entrance newcomers with the glories of new worlds. Articles by such well-loved writers as Bill Buford and Ryszard Kapuscinski are included, as are those by exciting new voices. Ranging across myriad landscapes, from Central Park in New York City to the Ouadane oasis in Saharan Mauritania, THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING 2000 showcases the diversity and creative power of travel writing today.
This inaugural edition of THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING journeys around the world to reveal our fascination with places both familiar and foreign. Guest editor Bill Bryson has gathered together remarkable pieces that travel across the remote stretches of Bhutan, along the busy roads of Cuba, and into the far-flung corners of Cambodia. Whether an account of an overnight stay in Central Park or the story of a hilarious ice golf tournament in Greenland, the selections in THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING 2000 exhibit the diversity and creative wonder of travel writing today.
About the Author
Jason Wilson is a prolific travel writer, having published numerous travel essays in such publications as HEMISPHERES, THE WASHINGTON POST, TRAVEL &LEISURE, THE NEW YORK TIMES, P.O.V., NEW ENGLAND REVIEW, THE TIMES PICAYUNE, FLIGHT, CONTINENTAL, AMERICAN WAY, TRIP, THE PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER, among many other prestigious publications. His travel writing has also earned him three Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards for both "Best Magazine Article on a U.S. Destination" and "Best Magazine Article on a Foreign Destination," three Society of Professional Journalists Awards for Magazine Feature Writing, a Garden State Association of Black Journalists Award, and has been selected as "Notable Essay" in THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 1997, 1998, and 1999. Mr. Wilson was also the founder of the now-defunct, but well-loved travel journal, GRAND TOUR, which THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER called, "A travel journal with two kinds of writing: good and better," and which THE WASHINGTON POST called, "A fine new magazine...creating a new home for the best sort of travel writing...the editors have an eye for writers who can take the smallest moments of existence abroad, and exalt them." Mr. Wilson has taught magazine writing and creative writing at a number of universities, and will be teaching travel writing at the graduate level at Rosemont College in the Philadelphia area beginning in Spring 2000.Bill Bryson is the best-selling author of A Walk in the Woods, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, Notes from a Small Island, Neither Here Nor There, and, most recently, In a Sunburned Country. Born in 1951, he lives in New Hampshire with his wife and four children.
Table of Contents
Foreword xi Introduction by Bill Bryson xix William Booth. Boat Camp 1 from The Washington Post Magazine Bill Buford. Lions and Tigers and Bears 9 from The New Yorker Tim Cahill. This Teeming Ark 19 from Outside Tom Clynes. The Toughest Trucker in the World 27 from National Geographic Adventure Dave Eggers. Hitchhikers Cuba 37 from Time David Halberstam. Nantucket on My Mind 50 from Town &Country Mark Hertsgaard. The Nile at Mile One 59 from Outside Isabel Hilton. Spies in the House of Faith 72 from The New Yorker Clive Irving. The First Drink of the Day 100 from Condé Nast Traveler Alden Jones. Lard Is Good for You 107 from Coffee Journal Ryszard Kapuscinski. The Truck 120 from The New Yorker David Lansing. Confessions of Cheese Smuggler 128 from National Geographic Traveler Jessica Maxwell. Inside the Hidden Kingdom 134 from Audubon P. J . ORourke. Weird Karma 145 from Mens Journal Tony Perrottet. Zoned on Zanzibar 158 from Escape Rolf Potts. Storming The Beach 171 from Salon Travel Mark Ross. The Last Safari 189 from Talk Steve Rushin. Winter Rules 205 from Sports Illustrated Patrick Symmes. From the Wonderful People Who Brought You the Killing Fields 216 from Outside Jeffrey Tayler. Chinas Wild West 229 from The Atlantic Monthly Jeffrey Tayler. Exiled Beyond Kilometer 101 241 from The Atlantic Monthly Jonathan Tourtellot. The Two Faces of Tourism 251 from National Geographic Traveler William T. Vollmann. The Very Short History of Nunavut 260 from Outside David Wallis. One Man and His Donkey 277 from The St. Petersburg Times Amy Wilentz. Marseilles Moment 283 from Condé Nast Traveler Contributors Notes 299 Notable Travel Writing of 1999 304