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A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers Talk About Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration (Travelers' Tales) [Paperback]

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Item description for A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers Talk About Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration (Travelers' Tales) by Michael Shapiro...

An award-winning travel writer journeys to visit all the great writers who have motivated him, finding out where they live and how it influences their writing, and how the writers themselves describe their lives, their craft, and their world. Original.

Publishers Description
Great writers inspire readers to head out in search of foreign sunsets, but in this instance, they inspired travel writer Michael Shapiro to head out for the great writers themselves. A Sense of Place is one writer's journey to visit all the heroes who have motivated him — to pack a pen and toothbrush, to find out where they live, why they chose the place, and how it influences their writing. In each scene, readers, writers, and travelers are given a glimpse of the locale and surroundings of the writer: Simon Winchester's Massachusetts, Redmond O'Hanlon's London, Jan Morris's Wales, or Frances Mayes's Tuscany. But then it's left up to the writers themselves to situate the reader and describe their lives, their craft, and their remarkable world, which they do with living room intimacy. The result is engaging, illuminating, and transporting for writers and travelers alike.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   378
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5" Height: 7.75"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 10, 2004
Publisher   Travelers' Tales
ISBN  1932361081  
ISBN13  9781932361087  

Availability  0 units.

More About Michael Shapiro

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Michael Shapiro is Professor of Slavic Languages at Brown University and has taught at the University of California and Princeton University. He is the author or editor of more than ten books including, "The Sense of Grammar and The Sense of Change."

Michael Shapiro currently resides in San Francisco, in the state of California. Michael Shapiro was born in 1939.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Authors
2Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > Travel Writing
3Books > Subjects > Travel > General > Essays & Travelogues
4Books > Subjects > Travel > General > Guidebooks

Reviews - What do customers think about A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers Talk About Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration (Travelers' Tales)?

Great traveling book  Sep 25, 2006
Michael and his interviewees give wonderful perspectives on being home and being on the road. The discussions are about how they've traveled, what they've learned, and what's important in their life. Frances Mayes about the community she found living in Italy. Jonathan Raban on traveling alone. Arthur Frommer on continually learning. And much more. This book isn't focussed on "I went there and this happened" but about life, perspectives. I especially enjoyed reading it while I was on 2 month trip myself. It will stimulate you to think about what's important to you.
A stimulating, inspirational, provocative book  May 17, 2006
Michael Shapiro's conceptualization for the format of "A Sense of Place" was a stroke of genius. I found the book in the travel section of a bookstore. However, I feel-strongly, that "A Sense of Place" also belongs under the "Literature" and "Writing" headings.

"Rich" is the word which consistently entered my mind as I read the interviews with each of the 18 writers whom Shapiro included in this book. His questions were pertinent, knowledgeable, and provocative. The authors responded in kind. I am convinced that he has created a jewel of a reference book in a literary and philosophical sense. The feed-back he elicited transcends mundane travel writing per se--far and away.

The moment I started reading "A Sense of Place", I sensed that Shapiro had a special touch which immediately put his subjects at ease. I believe this gift greatly facilitated his ability to surmount the disjointedness of the standard Q&A format. He further enhanced the fluidity of the interview process through his consummate familiarity with the work of each writer.

Shapiro's choice of authors was judicious. These people are not guidebook writers. They are world-class thinkers, explorers of the esoteric, articulators of original thought. I recommend this book-unequivocally.
Very good...  May 14, 2006
I bought this book as soon as I read the list of writers who were interviewed for it. I was not disappointed. The experiences these writers have goes far beyond just two weeks of vacation like the rest of us. They have really seen a lot of the world - and not just the vacation spots. I really enjoyed reading all the different perspectives of these people. And they are just that: people who have seen something different and have shared their thoughts and experiences.

There were one or two writers that I did not care for, but I enjoyed reading their interviews anyway.

I was a little bit surprised to see Author Frommer's name on the list because he does guide books. I have used and enjoyed the Frommers Guides for years. It was good to read about him and his life as well.

One way I judge a book is how disappointed I am when the book is nearing its conclusion. I felt that most of these interviews were too short. I wanted to hear more from them. I have looked at and purchased some books of some of the persons interviewed. I guess I can learn more about them from their books.
All the best in one place...  Apr 26, 2006
I have been reading this book for 8 months now, and I'm still not finished......Because each time I read a new interview with a writer that I become intrigued with, I put this down & go and read that author's books.

This book is outstanding. I started reading travel/adventure memoirs about three years ago, my first being "Falling off the Map" by Pico Iyer. Pico's in "A Sense of Place" as well as my other favorite, Bill Bryson. Jeff Greenwald and Redmond O'Hanlon were both new to me from this book, and I highly recommend reading their books. I also found out which author that I would be better off staying away from. (Paul Theroux) I just didn't click with his viewpoints.

All of the interviews are enlightening - and I think I'm finally on the last one. I'll be sad when it's over. I really enjoyed learning about so many authors in a genre that I am just starting to sink my teeth into.
Travel writers are generally interesting   Feb 25, 2006
I just finished reading "A Sense of Place". The author was on Rick Steves' podcast (public radio show) and was interesting enough that I ordered the book and read it.

The book opened me up to some other writers that I hadn't read and will in the future. While I've read some of Simon Winchester, Jan Morris and Isabel Allende and subscribe to Arthur Frommer's magazine, I picked up on Pico Iyer and am reading him as I write this. Bill Bryson and others strike me as potential interesting reads as well.

I sent an email to the author who immediately responded with a thank you for the communication. Reading a good book, especially one that leads you to other good books, is always a pleasure.


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