The Best American series has been the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction since 1915. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of periodicals. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the very best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respectedand most popularof its kind.
The Best American Travel Writing 2005 includes
William Least-Heat Moon Ian Frazier John McPhee William T. Vollmann Simon Winchester Tom Bissell Madison Smartt Bell Timothy Bascom Pam Houston and others
Jamaica Kincaid, guest editor, is the author of numerous award-winning works, including the memoirs My Brother and The Autobiography of My Mother and the novel Annie John. Her travelogue Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalayas appeared in 2005. She lives in Vermont with her two childen and a garden, in which she travels a great deal.
In this sixth installment of the series, guest editor Kincaid (Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalaya) has selected 25 gems from 100 travel stories published in various American periodicals in 2004. It's possible that readers may experience mal de mer while reading about Bucky McMahon's rafting venture in the Gulf Stream or fall asleep over John McPhee's rendition of a journey up the Illinois River. But they're sure to become immersed in Timothy Bascom's lyrical memoir of his childhood in Ethiopia, ruminate over Peter Hessler's realization that the American way isn't necessarily the best way in China, and chuckle while reading Seth Stevenson's satire on traveling in India. Some essays, such as Madison Smartt Bell's social commentary on Haiti, William T. Vollman's search for Chinese tunnels in Mexico, and Jim Harrison's elaborate account of a 37-course lunch, digress somewhat from traditional travel writing, but they add another dimension to readers' understanding of diverse cultures. While it may not stand out from previous editions, this anthology continues the series' practice of keen observations that transform ordinary journeys into extraordinary ones. Recommended for large public libraries.-Victor Or, Vancouver & Surrey P.L., B.C. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.