When asked how he prepares to travel to a country, Ryszard Kapuscinski said he reads the literature. Of course, not all of us have time to read an entire canon before every journey. Fortunately, Whereabouts Press has made sampling literature from some countries much easier with its Traveler’s Literary Companion series. Building on the strength of previous editions on Italy, Cuba, Vietnam and other places, the publisher has just added collections on Mexico and Japan. While the guides aren’t comprehensive (Haruki Murakami is notably absent from “Japan,” for example) they do offer a good way to get a feel for a place. They’re also a fine introduction to these countries’ writers, from greats like Carlos Fuentes and Kawabata Yasunari, to lesser known authors like Hino Keizo and Bruno Estanol.Says Madam Mayo: A comprehensive guide to contemporary Mexican literature? Wow, set that on your lap and it would leave dents in your thighs. But well, one day soon such a thing may be downloadable into an ipod... For more about Bruno Estanol, click here.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
World Hum Hums About Mexico & Japan
Mexico: A Traveler's Literary Companion, my new anthology of Mexican fiction and literary prose, has just received a post in that humongous travel blog, World Hum: Travel Dispatches from a Shrinking Planet. Writes Frank Bures: