Synopses & Reviews
In his introduction to The Best American Travel Writing 2008, editor Anthony Bourdain writes that the pieces that spoke the loudest and most powerfully to me were usually evocative of the darker side, those moments fearful, sublime, and absurd; the small epiphanies familiar to the full-time traveler, interspersed by a sense of dislocationand the strange, unholy need to record the experience.” With this in mind, Bourdain and series editor Jason Wilson have assembled a wide-ranging and wonderfully eclectic collection that delves headlong into those darker moments and subtle realizations, looking to absorb, provoke, and offer a moving record of what it means to travel in the twenty-first century.
Here you will find Seth Stevensons extraordinary experience of Looking for Mammon in the Muslim World” as he makes his way through sweltering and paradoxical Dubai. Exotic tastes and larger-than-life personalities abound as Bill Buford accompanies the chocolate maker Frederick Schilling to the rain forests of Brazil. And on the other side of the world, Calvin Trillin trolls Singapore for the ultimate street food, while Kristin Ohlson delves into the harrowing challenges faced by proprietors of restaurants in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The twenty-five pieces in this collection have their fair share of the absurd as well. David Sedaris explains the hilarious highs (sundaes) and woeful lows (sobbing with your seatmate) of flying Business Elite. Gary Shteyngart goes To Russia for Love” during St. Petersburgs vodka-soaked wedding season. And Emily Maloney gets up close and personal with her fellow travelersand their massage devicesin a South American hostel.
Culled from an amazing variety of publications, the writing in this volume is so vibrantly good, youll feel like youve armchair-traveled around the world” (Chicago Sun Times).
"The contributors to the latest entry in this series give readers a good sense of place they fold you into the setting. Vollmann (Europe Central) has gathered from National Geographic, the New Yorker, and elsewhere a deft mix of high and low, far and wide. 'Letter from Paris,' for example, from Michael Gorra, sits alongside 'Garbage City' by Iraq veteran-turned-journalist Elliott D. Woods. The former evokes wonder: 'The Eiffel Tower is always there... and on some nights it seems to go off like a sparkler, its lights popping red and gold as if it were shorting itself out.' The latter hones in on Izbet Az-Zabaleen, 'a hive of entrepreneurial recyclers... nestled at the edge of Manshiet Nasser, a teeming slum on Cairo's eastern outskirts.' Monte Reel's 'How to Explore Like a Real Victorian Adventurer,' an ironic anthropological guide to a shopping mall in suburban Illinois, shares book-space with Luke Dittrich's 'Walking the Border,' about borderlands between the United States and Mexico. Not every selection here will work for every reader. Aaron Dacytl's 'Railroad Semantics,' for example, about life on the rails in the Pacific Northwest, eventually goes off track. But it's a rare disappointment in this volume of mostly enlightening essays. (Oct. 2)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A collection of the best travel writing pieces published in American periodicals during 2011.
Professional adventurer and National Book Award winner William Vollmann delivers an eclectic batch of the years most exhilarating travel writing that will inspire the armchair travelers wanderlust.
The Best American Series®
First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected — and most popular — of its kind.
The Best American Travel Writing 2012 includes
Bryan Curtis, Lynn Freed, J. Malcolm Garcia, Peter Gwin,
Pico Iyer, Mark Jenkins, Dimiter Kenarov, Robin Kirk,
Kimberly Meyer, Paul Theroux, and others
The Best American Series®
First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the countrys finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volumes series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites . A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected—and most popular—of its kind.
The Best American Travel Writing 2011 includes
André Aciman, Christopher Buckley, Maureen Dowd,
Verlyn Klinkenborg, Ariel Levy, Téa Obreht, Annie Proulx,
Gary Shteyngart, William T. Vollmann,
Emily Witt, and others
Edited by The New Yorkers Bill Buford, the pieces collected here prove that a restless, intrepid spirit isnt unwelcome to American readers” (New York Times Book Review).
Acclaimed writer Simon Winchester brings his keen literary eye to this year's volume of the finest travel writing from the past year. "Full of insights, humor, the exotic and distant, and the ordinary and near" (Library Journal) this collection finds "a perfect mix of exotic locale and elegant prose" (Publishers Weekly).
About the Author
BILL BUFORD is an author and a staff writer for The New Yorker, as well as the founding editor of Granta, which he edited for sixteen years. His books include Among the Thugs and Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany.
JASON WILSON is the drinks columnist at the Washington Post, the series editor of The Smart Set, and the author of Boozehound: On The Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated. He teaches at Drexel University.