Tim HanniganOct 28, 2021
The Travel Writing Tribe
Hurst Publishers 2021
As most of us are stuck at home, whether due to lockdowns or border closures, some of us have returned to the idea of travel writing: nonfiction that charts someone’s journey to a different land, a different people, and a different culture.
Once a mainstay of bookstores in the eighties, travel writing has fallen behind a bit, both commercially and academically, as scholars critique some of the assumptions and perspectives that drove much of that writing.
Tim Hannigan, author of The Travel Writing Tribe: Journeys in Search of a Genre (Hurst, 2021), tackles these questions head-on. In a series of interviews with some of the most famous and illustrious travel writers over the past few decades, Tim digs into these debates and hears--from the writers themselves--what drove them to write about what they saw and experienced.
In this interview, Tim and I talk about what it means to be a travel writer, and why he decided to interview so many of the most prominent travel writers around today. We talk about some of the debates that have emerged on the subject, and what travel writing means in the age of COVID.
Tim Hannigan is a writer and academic, and the author of several narrative history books, including A Brief History of Indonesia and the award-winning Raffles and the British Invasion of Java. He holds a PhD from the University of Leicester.
Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.