The Best American Travel Writing 2014
“Travel connoisseurs divide the world into those places they’ve been dying to visit or revisit and places they’d never set foot in but are glad someone else did. This year’s volume of travel writing . . . focuses mostly on the latter with derring-do dispatches.” — USA Today
A far-ranging collection of the best travel writing pieces published in 2013, collected by guest editor Paul Theroux. The Best American Travel Writing consistently includes a wide variety of pieces, illuminating the wonder, humor, fear, and exhilaration that greets all of us when we embark on a journey to a new place. Readers know that there is simply no other option when they want great travel writing.
with a pretty little thing clinging to his back. He’d also slapped her once or twice, she told me flippantly. I was relieved that Mumúa was out of Sandra’s life and hoped it stayed that way. So she’d listed Gallego as the baby’s father on her carnet de embarazada, the ID card with which a pregnant woman can claim state benefits. With her carnet, she was entitled to medical care throughout her pregnancy, including house calls if she couldn’t make it to the clinic and enough sonogram pictures to
20-yard end run around Abdullah, throwing myself back up the stairs and into the mosque. The scene inside was oddly calm. Nigel had managed to shed Jamal and was sitting, not quite placidly but pretend placidly, at the front of the mosque, in the semicircular area that served as the imam’s pulpit, surrounded by a loose cluster of maybe 15 bearded men, most of them standing. I dropped to my knees next to Nigel, who was speaking English with some of the men, sounding like he was answering to some
tightened her hold on me. She was the first woman I’d interacted with in five months. Lifting my head to find her eyes again, I told her I had been a prisoner, that I wanted to go home. My voice rose and fell unevenly. Uttering the word home caused me to sob. I pointed toward Abdullah, who was scowling at us, probably 10 feet away. “He is abusing me,” I said, suddenly desperate. To be sure she understood, I used my fingers to mimic the mechanics of sex. I watched the woman’s eyes get wide. “Oh,
foraging for art supplies in somebody’s trash can. He said that she also gave him a Playboy magazine from the 1960s that included a photo spread titled “The Ass Menagerie.” This was fascinating, as we didn’t really know our sister very well. Each of us had pulled away from the family at some point in our lives—we’d had to in order to forge our own identities, to go from being a Sedaris to being our own specific Sedaris. Tiffany, though, stayed away. She might promise to come home for Christmas,
story might have been upsetting, but not being pretty was never one of Tiffany’s problems, especially when she was in her 20s and 30s, and men tumbled helpless before her. “Funny,” I said, “but I don’t remember a scar on her face.” I stayed in the sun too long that day and got a burn on my forehead. That was basically it for me and the beach blanket. I made brief appearances for the rest of the week, stopping to dry off after a swim, but mainly I spent my days on a bike, cycling up and down the