A lovely anthology of short stories on the theme of “nowhere”, published by Lonely Planet.
Lovely though the collection is, I do have a couple of gripes:
- Most of the pieces are written by professional travel writers, which was a bit disappointing as I’m sure most travellers have tales to tell of their own personal visits to nowhere. And the resounding theme was that one person’s nowhere is the centre of another person’s universe: not exactly an earth shattering conclusion.
- Why are most of the travelogues written by Americans? Not that I have anything against Americans travelling – in my book, travel can only broaden the mind – but reading the biographies almost all of the contributors were born and/or based in the States, and I know the Americans can’t hold the monopoly on independent travel. Perhaps they do have a monopoly on travel magazine article writing, or self conscious self discovery.
Still, a highly readable collection – here’s my list of the most memorable six:
- The most disheartening: On the trail
- The one that won in the wanderlust stakes: A picture of a village
- And one that didn’t: Postcard from the Edge
- The one that made me well up: Meeting Echo
- The one that triggered nostalgia: North of Perth
- The one I’ll remember the most: A visit to Kanasankatan – you need to be reading aloud to appreciate it, and perhaps save that approach for a rapid reread.
Amazon.co.uk: Tales from Nowhere – Don George (Ed)