The Oxford Book of Travel Stories by Patricia Craig
Travel, associated as it is with strangeness, marvels, and excitement, has always proved an irresistible subject for writers. The Oxford Book of Travel Stories brings together some of the best short fiction on this most exhilarating of subjects from writers as diverse as Anthony Trollope, Edith Wharton, Ring Lardner, William Trevor, Sylvia Townsend Warner, John Cheever, Beryl Bainbridge and V.S. Pritchett. Readers of this anthology will be able to revel in the atmosphere of 19th-century Palestine, the Riviera of the 1920s, or a botanical tour of Greece. There are stories set in far distant locations - China, Australia - and others closer to home, such as Benedict Kiely's entrancing `A Journey to the Seven Streams'. Most are high-spirited, in keeping with the theme, some are wonderfully funny and one or two productively unsettling, such as Flannery O'Connor's `A Good Man is Hard to Find'. Some deal with the journey itself, and encounters on train or boat; others see travel as a literal rite of passage, an escape or a sudden growing-up. All of them illustrate, in various ways, how travel has to do with stimulus, enrichment and a sense of achievement - `Not fare well,' as T.S. Elliot has it, `But fare forward, voyagers'. This book is intended for readers of 19th and 20th century fiction, anthology-buyers, anyone interested in travel writing/literature, holidaymakers.