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AWOL: Tales for Travel-Inspired Minds Paperback – Feb. 25 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback : 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0679312153
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0679312154
  • Product Dimensions : 17.58 x 1.98 x 20.29 cm
  • Publisher : Vintage Canada (Feb. 25 2003)
  • Item Weight : 435 g
  • Language: : English

Product description

From Amazon

Place plays a secondary role to quest in the best travel writing, something that editors Jennifer Barclay and Amy Logan identify in their pithy introduction to AWOL: Tales for Travel-Inspired Minds: "Travel is a state of being that brings us moments of beauty and unusual challenge." Less an anthology than a conceptual collaboration--all but one of AWOL's 34 brief entries are published here for the first time--Barclay and Logan bring together Canadian writers as diverse as novelists Camilla Gibb (Mouthing the Words) and Katherine Govier (Creation), poet/novelist Steven Heighton (The Shadow Boxer) and Associated Press journalist Jill Lawless (Wild East: Travels in the New Mongolia). Yet where their literary voices represent a wide stylistic range, the authors gone AWOL are unified by the raw yearning that comes through in their prose. Writing of young children hauling water in the Burmese village of Pagan ("where the villagers call themselves the slaves of the temples"), Karen Connelly (The Dream of a Thousand Lives: A Sojourn in Thailand) observes, "One of them looks me up and down as if she has the street smarts of a kid from Brooklyn. The toddy palm-smarts of Pagan." Arjun Basu offers a less bitter brand of insight in his humorous, "How I Learned to Love Scotch," a fish-out-of-water recounting of a visit to his ancestral homeland of India: "'He will fix you up,' says yet another man who appears in the doorway of the old man's room. 'He knows these things, yes?' This man is younger, with a foppish Beatles haircut, and bushy moustache. He's tall and thin and swarthy. He looks like a man who can tell an easy lie. 'You will have no problems.' He picks his teeth with a well-used toothpick. 'Actually, I'd just like a beer,' I say. 'I'd settle for a pop.'" Taken as a whole, the tales in AWOL make for inspired reading at home--or on the road. --Deirdre Hanna

From the Inside Flap

absent without leave; absent from one’s post or duty without official permission but without intending to desert. Originally a military term, it gradually entered the vernacular for when someone goes missing unexpectedly. Jennifer Barclay and Amy Logan thought it fit well with the kind of travel pieces they wanted to publish -- irreverent but thoughtful, emotionally honest and opinionated, bold and provocative. AWOL: Tales for Travel-Inspired Minds would be dedicated to the perspectives we gain when away from our regular circumstances.

They were tired of opening newspaper travel sections to accounts of five-star hotels or hip restaurants, package holidays and cruises, or extreme, death-defying feats. The tales that excited them were more personal. They wanted to bring back a sense of wonder about the world out there. “Rejecting the consumerist attitude of always wanting something better, which seems to go hand in hand with the con