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They Went: The Art and Craft of Travel Writing (The Writer's Craft) Paperback – March 13, 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
These essays, which originated as a series of lectures at the New York Public Library, have been carefully edited by Zinsser ( On Writing Well ) so as to preserve the energy and liveliness of the writers' speech. Although the authors entertain with travel anecdotes, some charming, some hair-raising, their insights into the genre of travel writing are unextraordinary. For Mark Salzman, who taught English in China, a "bleak or beautiful" landscape means nothing "until a person walks into it, and then what interests me is how a person behaves in that place." On a more practical note, Ian Frazier concludes that the only acceptable mode of transportation for seeing the U.S. is a car, even though his driving tour through the Great Plains "sent two and a half tons of carbon into the sunny skies." Because the authors have written elsewhere about their travels, the references here to their experiences feel truncated. Still, these fragments can be engrossing, particularly Tobias Schneebaum's account of a tribe of cannibals in Indonesia. Set down in their midst by helicopter--stark naked so as to better assimilate--Schneebaum knew not whether he would be welcomed and fed or welcomed and eaten.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Ian Frazier is the author of On the Rez, Great Plains, Family, Coyote v. Acme, and, most recently, Dating Your Mom.
Vivian Gornick, "one of the most vital and indispensable essayists of our cultural moment" (Phillip Lopate), has written for The New York Times, The Village Voice, and other journals.
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Top Customer Reviews
gives a brief layout of the chapters ahead. In the introduction the main points are presented for each section. Ian Frazier writing about the Great Plains presents many facts of the Great Plains, but the real story comes from his thoughts. The thoughts of his carving his name in the wall, is a fact of thought that brings you closer to him as a person. Frazier makes his story come alive with his personal experiences and quoted comments. Andrea Lee traveled to Russia to get the experience to write a book. She made extensive notes on each person she came in contact with. These people and the feelings of the country were to be her story. Throughout the time she lived in Russia Andrea recognized people living double lives. People living double lives are people relaying information back to their mother country. She was going after passion and empathy, but I do not believe she achieved her goal. Wrote the "The Peopling Landscape." The stand out story in this review was personal experiences between her father the amateur astronomer and herself at the age of seven years old. At the age of seven her father toke her and her bother to Virginia to see an eclipse.