[ PW Home ] [ Bestsellers ] [ Subscribe ] [ Search ]

Publishers Weekly
Category Close-Ups

Booked for Travel
Heather Vogel Frederick -- 6/5/00
Isak Dinesen dreamed of Africa. Victoria Brooks dreamed of author Paul Bowles in Tangier--literally.

"I woke up knowing I had to go to Morocco and write his story," says Brooks, editor of the Web zine Greatest Escapes (www.greatestescapes.com) and Literary Trips: Following in the Footsteps of Fame (GreatestEscapes.Com Publishing). Against all odds, she says, the elderly, reclusive author of The Sheltering Sky not only agreed to be interviewed at his apartment, but also offered to provide the foreword to her book shortly before he died.

Brooks's encounter with Bowles eventually evolved into Literary Trips, a collection of stories by travel writers about their favorite authors and the international haunts they made famous. "There's a comprehensive guidebook at the end of each story," Brooks explains. "You can travel vicariously through the written word or actually learn where to go and sit in the chair where Paul Bowles sat, drink in the bars where Hemingway drank, ride a streetcar through New Orleans's French Quarter with Tennessee Williams and so on."

"Literary Sleeps" and "Literary Sites" offer further tips, and there are also suggested pre-trip reading lists. Available already in bookstores in Canada (Brooks lives in Vancouver), Literary Trips can be ordered currently from the Web site www.literarytrips.com (individual chapters can be downloaded for $2.95). The book will be published in September in the U.S., and a sequel is in the works for spring 2001.

Bookworms heading abroad can also consult A Reader's Guide to Writers' Britain (Prion) by Sally Varlow, a region-by-region guide for those intent on visiting the homes of famous authors and the landscapes that inspired them. Still more literary travel writings are collected in The Best American Travel Writing 2000, the first edition of a new travel category in Houghton Mifflin's Best American series. For the debut volume, series editor Jason Wilson and guest editor Bill Bryson scoured magazines, newspapers and Web sites for an international array of the finest voices in travel literature of 1999.

Back To Travel Feature
Back To
Search | Bestsellers | News | Features | Children's Books | Bookselling
Interview | Industry Update | International | Classifieds | Authors On the Highway
About PW | Subscribe
Copyright 2000. Publishers Weekly. All rights reserved.