LoAnn Loves...Good Gay Travel Writing
By LoAnn Halden
When was the last time you read a travel piece and were transported so vividly that you could detect the aroma of local cuisine in the air and envision romance unfolding with a sultry resident? At OutTraveler.com, we're as guilty as every other travel writing source of getting bogged down in just the facts, ma'am: Here's great trip-planning information/inspiration, good luck and godspeed. But to really get to the essence of a place, you need ample space for language to breathe -- something University of Wisconsin Press editor and former Out Traveler contributor Raphael Kadushin not only understands but also, thankfully, nurtures.
The recently released Big Trips: More Good Gay Travel Writing follows in the successful, globetrotting path of the Press's Wonderlands queer travel anthology. In these Trips, a stunning lineup of authors, from Edmund White and Andrew Holleran to Aaron Hamburger and Trebor Healey, pore over the global landscape in memoirs and fiction to find the shared humanity that slices across cultures.
Holleran's drive into the gated-community heart of Florida, Bruce Benderson's return to his hippie stomping grounds in San Francisco, Martin Sherman's Greek isle sojourn, where beauty and loneliness intersect, Hamburger muddling through his Czech-boy fantasy in Prague -- they all peel back the layers of their setting to reveal the veins feeding its beating heart. There is, after all, more to a journey than a hotel room with Frette sheets. Whether you're hopping a flight or curling up in an armchair, Big Trips will carry you across continents with poignancy, intellect, and a healthy dose of the unexpected.
Big Trips editor Raphael Kadushin will be reading and signing the book at A Different Light Bookstore (489 Castro St.; 415-431-0891) in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 16. Watch for a Big Trips reading in your area at www.wisc.edu/wisconsinpress/events.html
Have you read a great gay travel book lately? Send your must-pack-for-the-plane reading list to email@example.com and we'll talk travel books in a future "LoAnn Loves…" column.
LoAnn Halden is a contributing editor to OutTraveler.com. Check back often for more dispatches on her travel "loves."