Book Review: The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010

the-best-womens-travel-writing-2010I have the attention span of a gnat. Seriously, it’s a wonder I get anything do … ooh, what’s that on television. Sorry, what were you saying?

That’s why I love short stories; so much plot line satisfaction jammed into one book. My awesome friend Shaunie T gave me an anthology of The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010 to read while I was in Thailand and Vietnam and wow, wow, wow… now I am a little starstruck. And intimidated. And inspired.

These true stories are funny, elegantly written and quirky. The first page takes you 16,000 feet up the side of a mountain in Ecuador. I have never been there and, based on this story, I sure as hell don’t want to go but I am glad that Mary Caperton Morton did.

These women have healed sick dogs in Rajastan, moved to rural Ethiopia, were followed by government spooks in Burma, fell in lust in the Wadi Rumi Desert in Jordan and had a plaster cast made of her vagina in Brighton. Hell, I want to invite these girls over for a drink!

What struck me beyond the blatant courage and literary agility of these writers is the difference in emotion. These stories are written with a palpable tenderness; a willingness to be vulnerable, flippant and romantic. Male travel writers don’t seem to admit to their fears, follies and sorrows as much as women do. It’s not a bad thing – it’s just a different thing – but the lack of bravado is definitely the main reason I loved this book so much.

Tell me, Glorious Travel Nerds, do you think that male and female travellers tell stories in different ways? If so, how?

4 Responses to “Book Review: The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010”
  1. Rachel says:

    Men talk up their experiences and may even exaggerate the truth, unless they didn’t have a good time which is when you only get one word answers to your questions. Meanwhile I think women in general are more honest and straightforward about every aspect of their travels both the good and the bad.

  2. Haha that’s why I love short stories too! Like Goldilocks said “They’re juuuust (the) right (size)!” 😛

  3. Sounds like a great book – can’t wait to pick up a copy!

    I think females write about travel with a very personal perspective and a reflection on the things they learnt through the travel experience, whereas for males I think there tends to be more reflection on the actual process of travel and what they are doing and achieving.

  4. Genevieve Frew says:

    Have tried Borders, Angus & Robertson, and Dymocks. Will keep trying. 🙂

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