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Wonderlands: Good Gay Travel Writing
     

Wonderlands: Good Gay Travel Writing

by Raphael Kadushin (Editor)
 

    Living up to its title, Wonderlands comes fueled by wanderlust and features every kind of wonderland. In fact, the collection’s contributors—a mix of established gay writers and the best of the new generation—don’t settle for the obvious. Focusing on the sheer visceral thrill of travel, the adventure of it,

Overview

    Living up to its title, Wonderlands comes fueled by wanderlust and features every kind of wonderland. In fact, the collection’s contributors—a mix of established gay writers and the best of the new generation—don’t settle for the obvious. Focusing on the sheer visceral thrill of travel, the adventure of it, they set out all over the world and always find something unexpected: love, passion, history, themselves.
    The result is an anthology of dynamic writing that will motivate readers to book their next flight, or at least get them dreaming of other places. And the places are legion. Mack Friedman sets off into the deceptively butch wilds of Alaska. Robert Tewdwr Moss tracks through the back roads of Syria and his own version of Arabian nights. Colm Tobin discovers a Spanish Brigadoon and Edward Field drinks tea with Paul Bowles. For Wayne Koestenbaum Vienna is both a city of high low culture, and for Philip Gambone Asia becomes a place of second chances. Raphael Kadushin settles into the ethereal sun of a Dutch spring. Michael Lowenthal remembers a jarring encounter in the Scottish Highlands, and Tim Miller tallies the 1001 beds he has slept in all over the world. And Edmund White, in a classic of elegiac travel writing, recounts his harrowing drive through the Sahara with a man he loved.

Contributors:
    Brian Bouldrey
    Mitch Cullin
    Edward Field
    Mack Friedman
    Philip Gambone
    Rigoberto González
    Raphael Kadushin
    Wayne Koestenbaum
    Matthew Link
    Michael Lowenthal
    Alistair McCartney
    J. S. Marcus
    David Masello
    Tim Miller
    Robert Tewdwr Moss
    Boyer Rickel
    Bruce Shenitz
    Colm Tóibín
    Edmund White

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Sharp, gritty and immensely compelling, this compendium breathes with the essence of travel: learning about a place teaches about one’s self.”—Publishers Weekly

"Ever wondered what traveling and returning home have in common? In his introduction to Wonderlands, Raphael Kadushin writes, "We're always leaving home because we're partly looking from something else. And usually what we find, in the end, is a gift, a small wonderland that we may only recognize years later, when we're back home, safe again." Wonderlands is indeed a gift—and one that delivers delights of excursions. Slip into the pages of these exotic travel essays and let this crew of talented gay writers lead you astray."—Roger Harris, Out Traveler

Publishers Weekly
Kadushin, contributor to National Geographic and other travel magazines, has compiled a collection of tales of journeys to the soul as much as place. Evoking Paul Theroux, Mary McCarthy and Jan Morris, this anthology's best pieces show the depth of personal revelation that attends traveling into the true heartland, be it in Ohio or in Italy. Several are breathtakingly good: Philip Gambone's poignant "Do You Join in Singing the Same Bigness?" details his stays in China and a life-altering trip to Vietnam; Edmund White's beautifully muted "Death in the Desert" elucidates the impact of AIDS with haunting clarity during a stay in the Middle East; Matthew Link's exquisite "No Man's Land" depicts his trip to the literal ends of the earth Antarctica in terms befitting Amundsen or Darwin. Other pieces are simply fine: Boyer Rickel's sweetly sexy paean to Italy, "Reading the Body"; Tim Miller's quixotic "1001 Beds"; and J.S. Marcus's attention-grabbing "Everywhere." Not all of the collection has overtly queer themes, and few pieces are truly sexual; there are no tours of gay Amsterdam, the Berlin homostrasses or the bath houses of the tropics. Rather, Kadushin has gathered highly disparate pieces, some fiction, most not, which limn the character of traveling, the subtleties and nuance that attend gay men together (or alone, but seeking companionship) in foreign climes and the feel of places, rather than mere descriptions of them. Sharp, gritty and immensely compelling, this compendium breathes with the essence of travel: learning about a place teaches about one's self. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In this anthology for the gay male armchair traveler, travel writer Kadushin has collected 19 travel stories and essays by such prominent authors as Edmund White, Philip Gambone, Edward Field, Colm Toibin, and, immodestly, himself. The selections are literally and figuratively all over the map, ranging from Nashville to the Netherlands, Antarctica to Alaska, fiction and nonfiction, past and present. Kadushin has for the most part chosen well: the best of the pieces are indeed good travel writing, combining a lively sense of time and place with the mysterious excitement of charting new terrain. Yet, despite its overall quality, this book seems less than the sum of its parts. Kadushin succeeds only in emphasizing the tenuous threads that bind this collection; it is difficult to pinpoint what makes them specifically gay, other than that the authors are and the odd allusion to a same-sex partner or the charms of a particular place's men. Neither a conventional travelog, nor a practical gay travel guide, nor, mercifully, accounts of sex in exotic places, this book will have limited appeal and is recommended for larger public libraries only.-Richard J. Violette, Special Libs. Cataloguing, Victoria, B.C. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299197544
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
01/28/2004
Edition description:
1
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Raphael Kadushin is humanities editor at the University of Wisconsin Press and a contributing editor at Bon Appétit magazine. He contributes to a wide range of publications—among them National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Islands, and Out Traveler—and his work appears in a variety of collections including Men on Men 5, Best Food Writing 2001, and Through the Lens: National Geographic Best Photographs. Kadushin is winner of the 2002 Bedford Pace Travel Writing Prize.

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