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The Best American Travel Writing 2004

by Pico Iyer (Editor), Jason Wilson (Editor)

Other authors: Roger Angell (Contributor), Frank Bures (Contributor), Michael Byers (Contributor), Tim Cahill (Contributor), Richie Chevat (Contributor)20 more, Douglas Anthony Cooper (Contributor), Joan Didion (Contributor), Bill Donahue (Contributor), Heather Eliot (Contributor), Kevin Fedarko (Contributor), Tad Friend (Contributor), Adam Gopnik (Contributor), Michael Gorra (Contributor), Tom Haines (Contributor), Peter Hessler (Contributor), Mark Jenkins (Contributor), Rian Malan (Contributor), Bill McKibben (Contributor), John McPhee (Contributor), George Packer (Contributor), Elizabeth Rubin (Contributor), Kira Salak (Contributor), Paul Salopek (Contributor), Thomas Swick (Contributor), Patrick Symmes (Contributor)

Series: The Best American Travel Writing (2004), Best American (2004)

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150279,725 (3.56)1
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This had been hiding on my shelf for years when I decided to pick it up. A good selection of travel stories from a variety of sources including The New Yorker, Travel+Leisure, National Geographic, Slate.com... The stories are personal and immerse you in these locations and situations. My favorites - Romance, Segways in Paris, The Wrong Side of the Cape, and Gangsta War. ( )
  melissavenable | Aug 7, 2011 |
Of the various Best American anthologies published each year by Houghton Mifflin, I regularly read the Fiction, Sports Writing, and Travel Writing. Curiously, though, I would have to say that the Travel Writing series is the most reliable read on a year-in, year-out basis. Some years have more “heavy” stories; others concentrate more on humorous fare. Invariably, though, I emerge having learned a good deal about many parts of the world that I’ll likely never visit.

The 2004 anthology is as good as any. The tone is pretty balanced—there are many pieces about places in the world facing challenges, including a resort attempting to get off the ground in war-torn Kashmir; a depressing tale of the deterioration of the Ivory Coast, an erstwhile African jewel; mountain gorillas under siege by the war in the Congo; and a curious piece about a writer trying to cross the border into Burma.

For me, the best piece of all was one on Barre, Vermont of all places. The essay focuses on a local radio station and a diner that features almost nothing but food grown within 50 miles. This was a story that made me question whether I’m doing the right thing by saving a few bucks via amazon.com as opposed to pumping more money into the Brookline Booksmith. Without getting too preachy, that piece talks about what we’ve lost as a nation by having amazingly little local radio or local anything, really.

This is a highly recommended series and should be a must-read each year, even if you’re purely an armchair traveler. ( )
  pickoftheliterate | Aug 27, 2006 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Iyer, PicoEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilson, JasonEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Angell, RogerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bures, FrankContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Byers, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cahill, TimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chevat, RichieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cooper, Douglas AnthonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Didion, JoanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Donahue, BillContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eliot, HeatherContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fedarko, KevinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Friend, TadContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gopnik, AdamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gorra, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haines, TomContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hessler, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jenkins, MarkContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Malan, RianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McKibben, BillContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McPhee, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Packer, GeorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rubin, ElizabethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Salak, KiraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Salopek, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Swick, ThomasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Symmes, PatrickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618341269, Paperback)

Since its inception in 1915, the Best American series has become the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. For each volume, a series editor reads pieces from hundreds of periodicals, then selects between fifty and a hundred outstanding works. That selection is pared down to twenty or so very best pieces by a guest editor who is widely recognized as a leading writer in his or her field. This unique system has helped make the Best American series the most respected -- and most popular -- of its kind.
The Best American Travel Writing 2004 transports readers from Patagonia to Ivory Coast to small-town Vermont. Readers are treated to car and truck trips across America, can fall "in lust" in the South Pacific, and go into the heart of the Congo to rescue gorillas. This year's volume is edited by Pico Iyer, who writes in his fascinating introduction, "Restlessness is part of the American way. It's part of what brought many of the rest of us to America." The Best American Travel Writing 2004 displays American restlessness at its most tantalizing and entertaining.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:57 -0400)

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