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The Oxford Book of Travel Stories
     

The Oxford Book of Travel Stories

by Patricia Craig
 

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Travel—long associated with marvels and adventure, excitement and mystery—has always proved an irresistible literary subject. Now, in The Oxford Book of Travel Stories, Patricia Craig brings together thirty-two fascinating travel stories, with each one illustrating in its own way what travel has to do with stimulus, enrichment, and a sense of achievement.

Overview

Travel—long associated with marvels and adventure, excitement and mystery—has always proved an irresistible literary subject. Now, in The Oxford Book of Travel Stories, Patricia Craig brings together thirty-two fascinating travel stories, with each one illustrating in its own way what travel has to do with stimulus, enrichment, and a sense of achievement. Here is some of the best short fiction representing the most exhilarating subjects from writers as diverse as Ring Lardner, Anthony Trollope, Edith Wharton, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, John Updike, David Malouf, Rebecca West, Rachel Ingalls, Evelyn Waugh, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Jack Kerouac, Alice Adams, Flannery O'Connor, John Cheever, and Raymond Carver.
Readers will revel in atmospheres as sundry as the Riviera in the 1920s, nineteenth-century Palestine, a journey by train from Brisbane to Sydney in 1944 (David Malouf's The Kyogle Line), a tread through the English midlands (Elizabeth Bowen's Human Habitation), a mid-Atlantic crossing between New York and Naples (John Cheever's Brimmer), and Ring Lardner's Travelogue, set on a train, mildly satirical in tone, concerning bragging about travel—in many ways the last word on travel. From Jack Kerouac's Big Trip to Europe, of 1960, which encapsulates the late 1950s fecklessness and the soft-drug related styles of indolence abroad to F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's Show Mr. and Mrs. F to Number ____, a mood-piece about exotic hotel life in the 1920s, to Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find, a high-spirited, productively unsettling jaunt, The Oxford Book of Travel Stories brilliantly encompasses the travel story genre.
The Oxford Book of Travel Stories is a superb collection that captures the freedoms and excitements of travel as it celebrates great literary style. It will delight both readers and travelers for which travel provides a means of escape.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Broad in scope, editor Craig's well-written and informative introduction details the convergence, somewhere "around the mid-nineteenth century," of the short story and tourism, and the effect of this union on the literary form. Emphasizing the difference between travel stories and travel writing, she defines travel stories as self-contained works that feature the actual mode of traveling, stories that also can be expanded to include "the mood of a particular era." Set in Victorian times, the first stories in the compilation, by such authors as Dickens, Wilkie Collins and Trollope, are charming, if occasionally quaint. Edith Wharton's tale of a horrible train journey taken with a corpse is balanced, a few stories later, by Evelyn Waugh's clever and amusing epistolary account of a wealthy fluffhead's European cruise. Following Waugh comes Ring Lardner's narrative of two well-traveled strangers and their efforts at one-upmanship. Nonfiction narratives are contributed by F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and by Jack Kerouac, while Rebecca West offers a spy story. Readers might be wickedly surprised to find Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" counted as a travel story. Other contributors include John Cheever, V.S. Pritchett, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Raymond Carver, Penelope Lively, Alice Adams, Elizabeth Hardwick, Paul Theroux, Anita Desai and the daringly inventive Beryl Bainbridge. Among the few entries by lesser-known writers, Jane Gardams's story of a day trip by bus to mainland China and a mysterious and supernatural effort by the brilliant Rachel Ingalls stand out. Using modes of conveyance ranging from modern-day jets and Greyhound buses to human feet and muleback, this diverse party of literary wanderings offers more than enough diversion for readers with time to kill in airports, train stations and ferry terminals.(Sept.)
From the Publisher
"Review from previous edition a handy book of literary short cuts, all about crossing boundaries, moving on, and leaving places ... Craig's beautifully produced anthology is most definitely a book for the bedside table"—Ian Sansom, The Guardian

"Patricia Craig is a lively and judicious editor"—Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780192142535
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
06/20/1996
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
5.69(w) x 8.81(h) x 1.34(d)

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Meet the Author

About the Editor:
A freelance writer and reviewer,Patricia Craig has edited The Oxford Book of English Detective Stories, The Oxford Book of Schooldays, and The Oxford Book of Modern Women's Stories.

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