Sigrid Rausing introduces Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists 3.
Robert Moor remembers hitch-hiking across Newfoundland: ‘The way to pronounce Newfoundland, Bill and Sue instructed me, is to remember that it rhymes with understand.’
Madeleine Thien on the occupation of Palestine.
‘When people would ask me what I was doing in Istanbul, I would explain that I’m a freelance writer and translator, and I move a lot. I move intuitively, I would say: places call to me.’
Deepti Kapoor on travel, authenticity and the peculiarity of being Indian in Uganda.
‘The power imbalance built into travel writing is just a heightened version of an imbalance that’s there in all writing.’
Phillip Lewis on writing emotional autobiography. ‘A sincere observation followed by a sincere utterance is the most powerful and effective form of communication.’
‘An often-unacknowledged truth about families that deal with addiction is that the bonds of trauma can be as challenging to quit as the habit itself.’
‘What satellites and the internet don’t do is give a voice to experience. And that’s where travel writing endures.’
Despite emerging from two decades of misrule under Yahya Jammeh, many Gambians still aspire to go ‘the back way’ into Europe.
‘Mass travel has liberated the form. No amount of package tours will stop ordinary life quietly continuing everywhere on earth.’
‘Mothers: our first source of love, our first heartbreak.’
Six writers and translators respond to Donald Trump’s travel bans. ‘It is always easy to invent enemies; it merely takes a failure of imagination.’
‘We do not understand why, nor did we covet such long life, but here we are, our respective addictions and madness with us to the end.’
‘We want to share with you some of our favourite pieces – published by us and by others – that present clear-headed explorations of gender in our society’
‘Our globalised world of easyJet and Google Translate does not seem to have fostered any greater understanding’
‘Our Civilization cannot afford to let the censor-moron loose. The censor-moron does not really hate anything but the living and growing human consciousness.’ A very short history of the censor-moron in the United States.
‘Which bodies can go where might be the central question of our century.’
‘I can almost believe in the permanence of these warm days, this unchanging child whose hand fits mine. But I can feel the cold and the darkness coming.’
A refugee family’s journey from Syria to Germany.
‘Too often, a kind of travel writing – especially the novel set abroad in an exotic locale – feels like a way of allegorizing and escaping problems at home.’
After a sudden stroke, Binyavanga Wainaina and his lover travel to Nairobi to reconcile with his father.
Carys Davies on how the settlement of the American West can help us understand Donald Trump’s nativism.
‘Writing about other people doesn’t have to be an exercise of power or a theft of identity.’
‘This is the perennial anxiety – that at any moment, day or night, you might be snatched and shackled and tried and sent back.’
After an unexpected email, David Flusfeder heads to Detroit to discover his father’s history and the world of vinyl manufacturing.
‘We need a new genre of travel writing, gleaned from the stories refugees and migrants.’
‘The first time I ever visited a place I’d read about in a travel book was when my family took a holiday in Hong Kong in 1993.’
‘I grew up in the semi-tropical south, dotted by wet paddy fields, but I always wanted to go to the north.’
‘But I still get homesick, that vast and deep pit in the stomach, every time I go away.’
‘Travel writing of most kinds, not just the humorous, has the history of colonialism perched on its shoulder.’
‘In my imagination I have been to many villages and cities in the world.’
‘The death of travel – and of the travel book – has been predicted for almost a century.’
‘The best writers rose to the challenge by seeking not originality of destination, but originality of form.’
‘Apartheid had marked him, as it has marked all of us, in different ways. It made me hyper-aware of colour.’
‘The writer on place has to go further inward, into the realm of silence and nuance and personal enquiry.’
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