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A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers Talk About Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration (Travelers' Tales) Paperback – August 10, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Journalist Shapiro (Internet Travel Planner) says that he embarked on this collection of illuminating interviews with the desire to learn more about his favorite authors, about "their lives, their hopes, their aspirations, and their thoughts about the world." He set out to meet publishing veterans such as Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods), Jan Morris (Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere), Paul Theroux (The Great Railway Bazaar) and Peter Matthiessen (The Snow Leopard), writers whose insights do indeed make for fascinating reading. But Shapiros discussions with novelist Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits) and guidebook gurus Rick Steves and Arthur Frommer prove equally enlightening. In the chapter "At Home with the Spirits," for example, Allende talks about the ways in which travel informs and influences her work. She likens the memories someone keeps from a trip to the significant details that get included in a particular story: "The person doesnt bring back the month; the person brings back the big strokes, the brilliant colors, the intense experiences, and in a week you have forgotten how uncomfortable you were and the mosquitoes. You only remember those things that eventually you might write about." Conversations such as these help Shapiros book live up to its ambitious title. By combining brief profiles with lengthy Q&As for each author, he provides a comprehensive look at the process these and other writers often go through, making the volume a good choice for both armchair travelers and aspiring writers.
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Big-minded, big-hearted, progressive and compassionate. -- San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 19, 2004
Hearing some of the great travel writers talk about their craft is certainly instructive for readers and writers alike. -- New York Times Book Review, Dec. 5, 2004
I enjoyed "A Sense of Place" down to the last drop. This is a wonderful book... a fascinating read. -- Keith Bellows, National Geographic Traveler
Illuminating, entertaining, and insightful. -- Chicago Tribune, Oct. 3, 2004
Shapiro functions as a less long-winded Charlie Rose, seeming to know the books as well as their authors do. -- The Washington Post, Nov. 28, 2004
Top customer reviews
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The book opened me up to some other writers that I hadn't read and will in the future. While I've read some of Simon Winchester, Jan Morris and Isabel Allende and subscribe to Arthur Frommer's magazine, I picked up on Pico Iyer and am reading him as I write this. Bill Bryson and others strike me as potential interesting reads as well.
I sent an email to the author who immediately responded with a thank you for the communication. Reading a good book, especially one that leads you to other good books, is always a pleasure.
Most recent customer reviews
Michael Shapiro, one of our best travel writers himself, shares with us what makes people who...Read more