The Best American Travel Writing 2009

The Best American Travel Writing 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 a

  • Title: The Best American Travel Writing 2009
  • Author: Simon Winchester Jason Wilson
  • ISBN: 9780618858668
  • Page: 166
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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.

    • The Best American Travel Writing 2009 - Simon Winchester Jason Wilson
      166 Simon Winchester Jason Wilson
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      Posted by:Simon Winchester Jason Wilson
      Published :2019-05-12T20:04:43+00:00

    About " Simon Winchester Jason Wilson "

  • Simon Winchester Jason Wilson

    Simon Winchester, OBE, is a British writer, journalist and broadcaster who resides in the United States Through his career at The Guardian, Winchester covered numerous significant events including Bloody Sunday and the Watergate Scandal As an author, Simon Winchester has written or contributed to over a dozen nonfiction books and authored one novel, and his articles appear in several travel publications including Cond Nast Traveler, Smithsonian Magazine, and National Geographic In 1969, Winchester joined The Guardian, first as regional correspondent based in Newcastle upon Tyne, but was later assigned to be the Northern Ireland Correspondent Winchester s time in Northern Ireland placed him around several events of The Troubles, including the events of Bloody Sunday and the Belfast Hour of Terror.After leaving Northern Ireland in 1972, Winchester was briefly assigned to Calcutta before becoming The Guardian s American correspondent in Washington, D.C where Winchester covered news ranging from the end of Richard Nixon s administration to the start of Jimmy Carter s presidency In 1982, while working as the Chief Foreign Feature Writer for The Sunday Times, Winchester was on location for the invasion of the Falklands Islands by Argentine forces Suspected of being a spy, Winchester was held as a prisoner in Tierra del Fuego for three months.Winchester s first book, In Holy Terror, was published by Faber and Faber in 1975 The book drew heavily on his first hand experiences during the turmoils in Ulster In 1976, Winchester published his second book, American Heartbeat, which dealt with his personal travels through the American heartland Winchester s third book, Prison Diary, was a recounting of his imprisonment at Tierra del Fuego during the Falklands War and, as noted by Dr Jules Smith, is responsible for his rise to prominence in the United Kingdom Throughout the 1980s and most of the 1990s, Winchester produced several travel books, most of which dealt with Asian and Pacific locations including Korea, Hong Kong, and the Yangtze River.Winchester s first truly successful book was The Professor and the Madman 1998 , published by Penguin UK as The Surgeon of Crowthorne Telling the story of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, the book was a New York Times Best Seller, and Mel Gibson optioned the rights to a film version, likely to be directed by John Boorman.Though Winchester still writes travel books, he has repeated the narrative non fiction form he used in The Professor and the Madman several times, many of which ended in books placed on best sellers lists His 2001 book, The Map that Changed the World, focused on geologist William Smith and was Whichester s second New York Times best seller The year 2003 saw Winchester release another book on the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, The Meaning of Everything, as well as the best selling Krakatoa The Day the World Exploded Winchester followed Krakatoa s volcano with San Francisco s 1906 earthquake in A Crack in the Edge of the World The Man Who Loved China 2008 retells the life of eccentric Cambridge scholar Joseph Needham, who helped to expose China to the western world Winchester s latest book, The Alice Behind Wonderland, was released March 11, 2011 source

  • 994 Comments

  • **Heh, 3.5 stars if GoodReads had such a thing**I tethered with the rating on this one because some of the essays were non-memorable and almost boring, not bothering to uncover the travel experience through narrator experience and setting authenticity. Yet some were indeed memorable. Like:1. "A Dip in the Cold" by Lynne Cox: first published in The New Yorker and catalogs her experience while swimming portions of the Northwest Passage, from Greensland to Alaska, using Roald Amundsen's (the endura [...]



  • Of course I didn't like every essay, but I'm glad I read it if only for the final essay in which a group of US writers go on tour in Syrian. So interesting to read, especially in light of subsequent events.


  • I won’t describe all of the book’s 25 essays here, but I will highlight the best of the lot. Strangely, it seemed to me that the best essays were located in the first half of the collection.Not so surprisingly, the very best essay, Patrick Symmes’ “The Generals in Their Labyrinth” is the first one. Even Winchester remarks in the introduction that Symmes’ essay “is destined to be ranked among all-time great magazine essays.”In “The Generals in Their Labyrinth,” Symmes visits t [...]


  • I teetered between giving this book three or four stars. I gave it four stars beause it's an anthology, and, as such, it's going to be a mixed bag for all readers that will appeal and disappoint depending on what essay you're reading and your individual taste. Go into this book knowing you'll love some essays and hate others. There are three essays in particular that caught my attention, for different reasons:1. "Game Over, Perseverance, All I Want Is Everything," by Dimiter Kenarov. Writing abo [...]


  • The tenth year of this anthology is a beguiling mix of insight and idiosyncratic exploration. The chosen contributions first appeared in publications both internationally prestigious (The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, GQ, Esquire, etc) the locally perceptive (The Virginia Quarterly Review) and the electronic (Slate). The quality of the writing is generally estimable and the desire to communicate palpable.There are pieces that verge on political analysis - Roger Cohen on Cuba, for [...]


  • *Eh.* I figured the editor was a douchebag while reading his introduction to this book, and he really only reaffirmed that opinion throughout the course of the book. Not only did his glorifying of colonialism rub me the wrong way, but his idea of travel writing and mine are completely different. For me, travel writing is the exploration of a place (or places) through the traveler who pays attention to the juicy details and also the impact of that experience on him/herself. For this editor, somet [...]


  • Yes, I desperately need a vacation, but this entry in yet another series that I had been ignoring (at my peril) helped tide me over. Some favorite pieces: Seth Stevenson on the hidden meanings of Disney World, Jay Kirk on the precarious present of Rwanda, Caroline Alexander on a swamp full of hidden tigers in Bangladesh, Paul Salopek on the nature of the Sahel in Africa, and Mark Schatzker on the surprising differences between cruising the Pacific and the Atlantic. I liked this volume so much I' [...]


  • This compilation of American travel writing was disappointing to me. While there was something new and unique to learn from each story, I found it to be an overall plodding read. Not that anything was outrightly bad, just that the writing and topics didn'ts absorb me or pull me in as I had expected. The notable exception was Hotels Rwanda which was both eye opening in its descrptions of a beautiful country of which the genocide is only one part of the story and intimate in its search for the rea [...]


  • This collection of essays and magazine articles is interesting; I didn't love it, but I was interested to read at least half of the chosen pieces. I think having the accompanying photos (at least from the magazine articles) would have lifted my enjoyment level, but I understand how that's not feasible given printing costs.I would try another of these collections, though I would not force myself to read each piece.


  • I wanted to see if Winchester was as goo at editing as at writing, and he is! There were a lot of interesting stories here. I particularly liked "Mississippi Drift", "Mecca of the Mouse", Bolivi a's Wrestlers", and "a Tale of Two Crossings". These essays are just the right length to read before sleep.


  • My favorite pieces from this volume:Frank Bures, "A Mind Dismembered" (Nigeria)Tony Perrottet, "The Pervert's Grand Tour" (France)Lynne Cox, "A Dip in the Cold" (Greenland/Canada)Matthew Power, "Mississippi Drift" (Mississippi River)Seth Stevenson, "The Mecca of the Mouse" (Disney World)Calvin Trillin, "By Meat Alone" (Texas)


  • I have discovered a bias. I skip stories about Africa, they bore and depress me and I have trouble caring. I favor stories about Asia and America. Europe is hit-or-miss.The Tigerland story was good. And the Cuba story was very good. And the one about the river country from the movie Deliverance. Good too. Otherwise, meh.


  • Maybe I'm a little burned out on these anthologies - this was good, but took me forever to finish as I slogged through some of the more boring pieces. The ones on the Middle East and Africa were the most engaging; in particular, Daniel Alarcon's closing piece on then-peaceful Syria is a chilling prelude to civil war. A decent introduction to some of these writers if nothing else.


  • I always love these 'Best American' series. To call this travel writing is a bit misleading, since many of the articles would be better called journalism. The essay on Burma was fantastic. Essays on Cuba, Lebanon and Bulgarian Roma were also pretty damn enlightening.


  • Great collection of travel essays. Some travel is best done vicariously - like floating down the Mississippi River on a makeshift raft with devout Freegans or swimming in the Arctic Ocean - just saying.




  • Favorite essays were: A Mind Dismembered by Frank Bures, Hotels Rwanda by Jay Kirk, My Servant by Eric Weiner, Ecotouring in Honduras by Elisabeth Eaves.






  • SoI bought this book in 2011 in Montana, and just now finished reading it. This is probably the 3rd or 4th of these I've read. Good travel storieskes me wish I had more of my own.


  • There were definitely some good pieces in this collection, but some were kind of lackluster. I did like to see a number of selections from the VQR, though.



  • As in most travel writing there is a lot of variation in the quality of these articles reprinted from other publications.


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