Overview

The Best American Series®
First, Best, and Best-Selling

The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A ...
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The Best American Travel Writing 2012

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Overview

The Best American Series®
First, Best, and Best-Selling

The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected — and most popular — of its kind.

The Best American Travel Writing 2012 includes

Bryan Curtis, Lynn Freed, J. Malcolm Garcia, Peter Gwin,
Pico Iyer, Mark Jenkins, Dimiter Kenarov, Robin Kirk,
Kimberly Meyer, Paul Theroux, and others
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Some armchair travelers have an entire shelf of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Best American Travel Writing annuals and there is no mystery why. Each year, this trade paperback and NOOK Book original features superlative writing chosen by a standout editor. Previous editors include Simon Winchester, Frances Mayes, Susan Orlean, and Jamaica Kincaid. In the 13th installment, editor William Vollman presides over an assemblage by standouts including Paul Theroux, Bryan Curtis, Lynn Freed, Robin Kirk, and Kimberly Meyer. Editor's recommendation.

Publishers Weekly
The contributors to the latest entry in this series give readers a good sense of place-they fold you into the setting. Vollmann (Europe Central) has gathered-from National Geographic, the New Yorker, and elsewhere-a deft mix of high and low, far and wide. "Letter from Paris," for example, from Michael Gorra, sits alongside "Garbage City" by Iraq veteran-turned-journalist Elliott D. Woods. The former evokes wonder: "The Eiffel Tower is always there... and on some nights it seems to go off like a sparkler, its lights popping red and gold as if it were shorting itself out." The latter hones in on Izbet Az-Zabaleen, "a hive of entrepreneurial recyclers... nestled at the edge of Manshiet Nasser, a teeming slum on Cairo's eastern outskirts." Monte Reel's "How to Explore Like a Real Victorian Adventurer," an ironic anthropological guide to a shopping mall in suburban Illinois, shares book-space with Luke Dittrich's "Walking the Border," about borderlands between the United States and Mexico. Not every selection here will work for every reader. Aaron Dacytl's "Railroad Semantics," for example, about life on the rails in the Pacific Northwest, eventually goes off track. But it's a rare disappointment in this volume of mostly enlightening essays.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
"Bold and questing writer and world traveler Vollmann is at the helm of the thirteenth edition of this superb travel annual, which has always been distinguished by its stellar guest editors . Guided by his unceasing curiosity about complex places and authentic voices, Vollmann has chosen 19 electrifying essays...Vollmann’s 'best' assemblage profoundly extends the reach of the ever-vital and enlightening art of travel writing ."
-Booklist  (starred)

"The latest intriguing batch of travel writing from the venerable series . [T]hese stories...undoubtedly bring a taste of adventure to readers...they open a window onto the strange, seedy and beautiful in the world, offering readers glimpses into places that many will never see or experience except through the eyes and words of these writers. Mostly engaging, diverse tales of offbeat travel adventures ."
-Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547809137
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Series: Best American Travel Writing Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 340,559
  • File size: 384 KB

Meet the Author

William T. Vollmann

JASON WILSON is the drinks columnist at the Washington Post, the series editor of The Smart Set, and the author of Boozehound: On The Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated. He teaches at Drexel University.

Biography

Fearless, ambitious, and wildly original, William T. Vollmann has been lionized as one of the most significant and influential voices in contemporary postmodernist literature. His dauntingly voluminous books, a hodgepodge of fiction and journalism, are marked by bold, often beautiful language. They also spring from personal experience: Volmann is famous for total immersion in his subjects. His research has taken him to the ends of the earth – to the North Pole, to war zones around the globe, and (perhaps most famously) to San Francisco's notorious Tenderloin district to gain a better understanding of its notorious denizens..

Vollmann roared onto the literary scene in 1987 with You Bright and Risen Angels, a bold and quirky debut novel that chronicled in allegorical fashion the bitter battle between insects and the inventors of electricity. From that point on, his books became less surreal and more gritty. In 1992, he wrote his first "official" work of nonfiction, An Afghanistan Picture Show , an impressionistic chronicle of his experiences among the Afghan rebels in the early 1980s. Since then, the prolific author has produced an unstoppable juggernaut of prose, most notably installments in his towering fictional sequence Seven Dreams: A Book of North American Landscapes and a labyrinthine seven-volume treatise on violence called Rising Up, Rising Down. Published by the iconoclastic publishing house McSweeney's in 2003, this magnum opus was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction.

In 1999, The New Yorker named Vollmann one of the 20 best American writers under the age of 40. In 2005, he was awarded the National Book Award for Fiction for Europe Central, a 750-page series of linked stories set in Germany and Russia during World War II. His journalism continues to appear in such magazines as Esquire, Spin, Gear, Outside, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, and The New Yorker. In addition, he has founded the Co-Tangent Press as a vehicle for publishing his own limited edition art books.

Good To Know

Vollmann wrote his first novel, You Bright and Risen Angels, while working as a computer programmer.

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    1. Also Known As:
      m the Blind, Captain Subzero
    2. Hometown:
      Sacramento, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 28, 1959
    2. Place of Birth:
      Santa Monica, California
    1. Education:
      Attended Deep Springs College and Cornell University

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