cover image The Best American Travel Writing 2010

The Best American Travel Writing 2010

Edited by Bill Buford, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Mariner, $14.95 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-547-33335-9

Buford notes in this robust collection that "place matters, in varying degrees—sometimes a lot, sometimes hardly at all," and goes on to prove it with this year's anthology. Michael Finkel's fascinating account of his stay with the Hazda people in East Africa and Ted Genoways's recollection of a poignant trip with his father to Suriname both will appeal to readers with a curiosity about spots less traveled. But readers with greater interest in human experience than exotic locales will also find much to cherish. David Sedaris's anecdotes of encounters with strangers on trains and Peter LaSalle's contribution on the connection between walking and writing, both bravely candid, could occur anywhere. Peter Jon Lindberg, in the standout "In Defense of Tourism," questions the tendency of travel enthusiasts to "parse the world's offerings into things tourists do versus things ‘locals' do, as if the mere act of residing somewhere confers a sense of style." With a welcome range of geography and point-of-view, Buford has curated a diverse and engrossing collection. (Oct.)