Tag Archives: Literature

The New York Times: Footsteps: From Ferrante’s Naples to Hammett’s San Francisco, Literary Pilgrimages Around the World

FootstepsThe New York Times: Footsteps: From Ferrante’s Naples to Hammett’s San Francisco, Literary Pilgrimages Around the World

by New York Times

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A curated collection of the New York Times‘ travel column, “Footsteps,” exploring iconic authors’ relationships to landmarks and cities around the world
 
Before Nick Carraway was drawn into Daisy and Gatsby’s sparkling, champagne-fueled world in The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald vacationed in the French Riviera, where a small green lighthouse winked at ships on the horizon. Before the nameless lovers began their illicit affair in The Lover, Marguerite Duras embarked upon her own scandalous relationship amidst the urban streets of Saigon. And before readers were terrified by a tentacled dragon-man called Cthulhu, H.P. Lovecraft was enthralled by the Industrial Trust tower– the 26-story skyscraper that makes up the skyline of Providence, Rhode Island.

Based on the popular New York Times travel column, Footsteps is an anthology of literary pilgrimages, exploring the geographic muses behind some of history’s greatest writers. From the “dangerous, dirty and seductive” streets of Naples, the setting for Elena Ferrante’s famous Neapolitan novels, to the “stone arches, creaky oaken doors, and riverside paths” of Oxford, the backdrop for Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, Footsteps takes a fresh approach to literary tourism, appealing to readers and travel enthusiasts alike.

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No Touch Monkey!: And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late

No Touch MonkeyNo Touch Monkey!: And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late by Ayun Halliday

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Ayun Halliday may not make for the most sensible travel companion, but she is certainly one of the most outrageous, with a knack for inserting herself (and her unwitting cohorts) into bizarre situations around the globe. Curator of kitsch and unabashed aficionada of pop culture, Halliday offers bemused, self-deprecating narration of events from guerilla theater in Romania to drug-induced “Apocalypse Now” reenactments in Vietnam to a perhaps even more surreal collagen-implant demonstration at a Paris fashion show emceed by Lauren Bacall. On layover in Amsterdam, Halliday finds unlikely trouble in the red-light districteliciting the ire of a tiny, violent madam, and is forced to explain tampons to luggage-searching soldiers in Kashmir: “They’re for ladies. “Bleeding” ladies.” A self-admittedly bumbling tourist, Halliday shareswith razor-sharp wit and to hilarious effectthe travel stories most are too self-conscious to tell.
This second edition includes a new foreword from the author.

 

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The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari

The Last Train to Zona VerdeThe Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari by Paul Theroux

A decade ago, Paul Theroux s best-selling “Dark Star Safari” chronicled his epic overland voyage from Cairo to Cape Town, providing an insider s look at modern Africa. Now, with “The Last Train to Zona Verde,” he returns to discover how both he and Africa have changed in the ensuing years.
Traveling alone, Theroux sets out from Cape Town, going north through South Africa, Namibia, then into Angola, encountering a world increasingly removed from tourists itineraries and the hopes of postcolonial independence movements. After covering nearly 2,500 arduous miles, he cuts short his journey, a decision he chronicles with unsparing honesty in a chapter titled What Am I Doing Here? Vivid, witty, and beautifully evocative, ” The Last Train to Zona Verde” is a fitting final African adventure from the writer whose gimlet eye and effortless prose have brought the world to generations of readers.
“Everything is under scrutiny in Paul Theroux s latest travel book not just the people, landscapes and sociopolitical realities of the countries he visits, but his own motivations for going where he goes . . . His readers can only be grateful.” “Seattle Times”
If this book is proof, age has not slowed Theroux or encouraged him to rest on his achievements . . . Gutsy, alert to Africa’s struggles, its injustices and history. “San Francisco Chronicle””

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Home Sweet Anywhere: How We Sold Our House, Created a New Life, and Saw the World

Home Sweet AnywhereHome Sweet Anywhere by Lynne Martin

“Nearly every page has some crack piece of travel wisdom … an accessible, inspiring journey.” -Kirkus

The Sell-Your-House, See-the-World Life!

Reunited after thirty-five years and wrestling a serious case of wanderlust, Lynne and Tim Martin decided to sell their house and possessions and live abroad full-time. They’ve never looked back. With just two suitcases, two computers, and each other, the Martins embark on a global adventure, taking readers from sky-high pyramids in Mexico to Turkish bazaars to learning the contact sport of Italian grocery shopping. But even as they embrace their new home-free lifestyle, the Martins grapple with its challenges, including hilarious language barriers, finding financial stability, and missing the family they left behind. Together, they learn how to live a life-and love-without borders.

From glittering Georgian mansions in Ireland to the windswept coasts of Portugal, this euphoric, inspiring memoir is more than a tale of second chances. Recently featured on NPR’s Here and Now, as well as in the New York Times, Home Sweet Anywhere is a road map for anyone who dreams of turning the idea of life abroad into a reality.

“The author writes in an engaging, descriptive style that makes the reader feel s/he’s been invited along for the journey. And what a journey it has been. … The book is not just about travel, it’s about embracing the life you have and living it to the fullest.” – New York Journal of Books

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A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid

A Small PlaceA Small Place  by Jamaica Kincaid

A brilliant look at colonialism and its effects in Antigua–by the author of “Annie John”
“”If you go to Antigua as a tourist, this is what you will see. If you come by aeroplane, you will land at the V. C. Bird International Airport. Vere Cornwall (V. C.) Bird is the Prime Minister of Antigua. You may be the sort of tourist who would wonder why a Prime Minister would want an airport named after him–why not a school, why not a hospital, why not some great public monument. You are a tourist and you have not yet seen . . .””
So begins Jamaica Kincaid’s expansive essay, which shows us what we have not yet seen of the ten-by-twelve-mile island in the British West Indies where she grew up.
Lyrical, sardonic, and forthright by turns, in a Swiftian mode, “A Small Place” cannot help but amplify our vision of one small place and all that it signifies.

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