by Christopher Hunt, author of Sparring with Charlie, on his attempt to retrace the route of the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

"Weren't you scared?"

"No," the answer I give when asked about my meanderings in Vietnam, is never accepted. At least not without explanation. Continue...

  Tales of travel are as old as mankind. The first stories told around the campfire were probably travel yarns. The desire to share and hear about new experiences and locales is an integral part of human communication. As young children, our first experience in storytelling is often the travel story "How I Spent My Summer Vacation."

From renewed interest in the epics of Homer to the throngs which have besieged Jon Krakauer at every stop on his book tour, it's clear that the yearning to hear the experiences of foreign lands refracted through an author's mind is as strong as ever. Leave it to the writer to convey breadth of the travel experience--from the thrill of discovery to the pain of sore feet. From elation to misery, travel evokes strong emotions, and travel writing, both fiction and non-fiction, is a way for us to escape our everyday lives for new adventures by simply turning a page.

This issue of Bold Type features several acclaimed authors and captivating articles. Nicholas Shakespeare's essay on how life and art imitated each other in Peru is especially noteworthy due to the recent hostage crisis in that country. The preponderance of material related to Alaska stems from my own near obsession with the writings of Jon Krakauer, as well as an enduring fascination with America's last frontier. Booker Prize-winner Barry Unsworth shares his thoughts on the Umbrian hills and Gita Mehta offers some helpful travel tips for your next to India. Like some sort of literary "Wide World of Sports," this issue spans the globe to offer fun, interesting writing. Print out an essay and take it on your next travel adventure or trip to the gym.

Remember to check the Back of the Book for poetry and graceful ruminations on Alaskan disappearances from Sheila Nickerson. Richard Ives compares an Indonesian island to purgatory, Barry Lopez battles Arctic ice floes, and Chris Hunt finds frustration in Vietnam.

Next month's theme is ICONS, so bookmark Bold Type and stop again for more exciting writing.

Sign up for our newsletter, and we'll let you know which authors we'll be featuring each month on Bold Type.


Larry Weissman
Bold Type Editor