Travel writing: an interview with Pico Iyer

Travel writing has not really interested me until my first trip overseas last December and January. My trip to Thailand and Nepal suddenly gave me a great interest in this genre of writing. I wrote extensively of my experiences in a journal, which I later transposed into short articles on my travel blog (click here). Unfortunately I have not really had the time since returning to investigate the many interesting books that have been written by travel writers. That delight still awaits.

Pico Iyer has travelled all over the world as a travel writer. I recently read the transcript of an interview with him. It is a very long interview. In it he describes how he goes about researching his topics, what he looks for in a place and how he goes about his writing. It has much to commend it for all travel writers. He particularly gives a focus to the literary qualities of good travel writing, and to the barriers that travel writing causes many readers.

“I think travel writing has a hard time appealing to people who haven’t traveled and who don’t see a book on place as a literary text in the way they would see another nonfiction book, and that’s one of the hurdles that I don’t know how we can surmount.” Pico Iyer

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