Tuesday 30 June 2020

Without a Guide

Finished June 29
Without a Guide: Contemporary Women's Travel Adventures edited by Katherine Govier

This collection of experiences by women writers, many of them Canadian, ranges widely and shows interesting, not always pleasant experiences by women traveling in the recent decades. Despite the title, there are sometimes guides and sometimes the women are part of a group. But the experiences show the way that the women came to travel in these instances, their decisions and how it affected the experiences that they had.
There are seventeen essays here.
* Hanan al-Shaykh in Cairo with a documentary-making friend
* Margaret Atwood in the Galapagos Islands with her husband, parents, and child as part of a group
* Clare Boylan in London with her mother
* Wendy Law-Yone using marriage to escape Burma and taking her brother with her
* Ann Beattie tagging along with Japanese tourists in San Francisco along with a photographer friend
* Ysenda Maxtone Graham on a misguided trek into the Grand Canyon with a friend
* Katherine Govier in Morocco with her husband
* Bapsi Sidhwa in the remote Black Mountains of Pakistan with her husband and a military guide
* Susan Musgrave in Panama and Colombia with an ex-con drug smuggler
* Robin Davidson across the Outback in Australia with her dog and four camels
* Irene Guilford in the Czech Republic retracing the steps of her Lithuanian refugee mother when she escaped Russian forces following the Second World War
* Michelene Adams revisiting the Jamaica of her birth and finding what she'd thought she'd lost
* Kirsti Simonsuuri visiting northern Finland in the height of winter
* Janice Kulyk Keefer describing her robbery and its aftermath in Spain
* Alice Walker in China with a group of other writers
* E. Annie Proulx on a nightmare train trip from Montreal to Chicago and back
* Carol Shields on a singular encounter on her last day in Japan
As you can see, some wonderful writers here and a wide range of experiences. Well worth the read.

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