It is as vast as the United States and so arid that most bacteria cannot survive there. Its loneliness is so extreme it is said that migratory birds will land beside travelers, just for the company. William Langewiesche came to the Sahara to see it as its inhabitants do, riding its public transport, braving its natural and human dangers, depending on its sparse sustenance and suspect hospitality. From his journey, which took him across the desert's hyperarid core from Algiers to Dakar, he has crafted a contemporary classic of travel writing.In a narrative studded with gemlike discourses on subjects that range from the physics of sand dunes to the history of the Tuareg nomads, Langewiesche introduces us to the Sahara's merchants, smugglers, fixers, and expatriates. Eloquent and precise, Sahara Unveiled blends history and reportage, anthropology and anecdote, into an unforgettable portrait of the world's most romanticized yet most forbidding desert.
As a young girl in a working-class neighborhood of Sydney, Australia, Geraldine Brooks longed to discover the places where history happens and culture comes from, so she enlisted pen pals who offered her a window on adolescence in the Middle East, Europe, and America. Twenty years later Brooks, an award-winning foreign correspondent, embarked on a human treasure hunt to find her pen friends. She found men and women whose lives had been shaped by war and hatred, by fame and notoriety, and by the ravages of mental illness. Intimate, moving, and often humorous, Foreign Correspondence speaks to the unquiet heart of every girl who has ever yearned to become a woman of the world.
Writing a love letter to Great Britain, the America author celebrates badger-watching in the countryside, the London theatre, ghost-hunting, tour guiding students, and other pleasures of traveling through England. Reprint.
Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes--and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings. For a start there's the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. Despite Katz's overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants, he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride, and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods has become a modern classic of travel literature.
E.M. Forster observed, "One does not come to Italy for niceness. One comes for life". And there is life abounding in this rhapsodic, witty, and lushly atmospheric anthology, in which forty-one literary travelers train their sensibilities on various aspects of the Italian scene.
Italy in Mind is Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, marveling at baroque Sicilian confections, and Mary McCarthy, celebrating Venice's threadbare dignity. It's Henry James's Isabel Archer, succumbing to the treacherous antiquities of Florence, and Ernest Hemingway's Frederic Henry, rowing across Lago Maggiore. It's the savage isolation of D. H. Lawrence's Sardinia and the splendid urbanity of Edith Wharton's Rome. Comprising short stories, novel excerpts, essays, poetry, journals, and letters, the resulting volume will delight anyone who loves Italy or great travel writing.
A masterful work of personal reportage, this volume is also a vibrant portrait of a mysterious people and an essential document of a disappearing culture.Fabled, feared, romanticized, and reviled, the Gypsies--or Roma--are among the least understood people on earth. Their culture remains largely obscure, but in Isabel Fonseca they have found an eloquent witness. In Bury Me Standing, alongside unforgettable portraits of individuals--the poet, the politician, the child prostitute--Fonseca offers sharp insights into the humor, language, wisdom, and taboos of the Roma. She traces their exodus out of India 1,000 years ago and their astonishing history of persecution: enslaved by the princes of medieval Romania; massacred by the Nazis; forcibly assimilated by the communist regimes; evicted from their settlements in Eastern Europe, and most recently, in Western Europe as well. Whether as handy scapegoats or figments of the romantic imagination, the Gypsies have always been with us--but never before have they been brought so vividly to life. Includes fifty black and white photos.
In this text, Bruce Chatwin writes of his father, of his friend Howard Hodgkin, and of his talks with Andre Malraux and Nadezhda Mandelstram. He also follows unholy grails on his travels, such as the rumour of a "wolf-boy" in India, or the idea of looking for a Yeti.
Once upon a time, an Indian writer named Amitav Ghosh set out as an Indian slave, name unknown, who some seven hundred years before had traveled to the Middle East. The journey took him to a small village in Egypt, where medieval customs coexist with twentieth-century desires and discontents. But even as Ghosh sought to re-create the life of his Indian predecessor, he found himself immersed in those of his modern Egyptian neighbors.Combining shrewd observations with painstaking historical research, Ghosh serves up skeptics and holy men, merchants and sorcerers. Some of these figures are real, some only imagine, but all emerge as vividly as the characters in a great novel. In an Antique Land is an inspired work that transcends genres as deftly as it does eras, weaving an entrancing and intoxicating spell.