Latest Posts

See what's new

Win all seven books short-listed for the Stanford Dolman prize

“Writing that takes you away” is what Deskbound Traveller aims to provide, and there’s a richness of it among the seven books short-listed for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year. Among them are two titles on the topical subject of borders and one on small islands off Britain, a portrait of Pakistan and one of Calcutta, a book driven by the wind and one brimming with stories of the sea. The judges meet next week to decide on the winner.

  The books are:
Islander: A Journey Around Our Archipelago by Patrick Barkham (Granta, £20)
The Rule of the Land: Walking Ireland’s Border by Garrett Carr (Faber, £13.99)
The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta by Kushanava Choudhury (Bloomsbury, £16.99)
RisingTideFallingStar by Philip Hoare (Fourth Estate, £16.99)
Where the Wild Winds Are: Walking Europe’s Winds from the Pennines to Provence by Nick Hunt (Nicholas Brealey, £16.99) 
Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova (Granta, £14.99)
Travels in a Dervish Cloak by Isambard Wilkinson (Eland, £19.95).

  Now, courtesy of the bookseller Stanfords, I am offering you the chance to win all seven.

  The £5,000 Stanford Dolman prize, formerly the Dolman prize — after the Rev William Dolman, a member of the Authors’ Club, who had been sponsoring it through the club since 2006 — was rebranded in 2015 and is now the centre-piece of a scheme run in association with the club by Stanfords and named after its founder: the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards. That scheme — with sponsorship from the tour operator Hayes & Jarvis — includes an award for an outstanding contribution to travel writing, one for young travel writers and one for bloggers, one for fiction with a sense of place and others for books in various byways of travel (food, adventure, illustrated books and children’s travel books). The winners of all the awards will be announced on February 1 at the Stanford Travel Writers’ Festival, part of the Destinations show in London.

  To be in with a chance of winning the seven books on the Stanford Dolman short list, just retweet my tweet about the prize (“Win all 7 books…”) on Twitter from both @deskboundtravel and @kerraway.

Terms and conditions
Entrants must retweet the mention of the Stanford Dolman prize on Twitter from both @deskboundtravel and @kerraway by midnight on Friday, January 26, 1918. The winner, who must be resident in the United Kingdom, will receive one copy of each of the seven books short-listed for the prize. He or she will be selected at random and notified by Thursday, February 1. Unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted. For more information about the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year, please see the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards site.

Talking places and writing at the Irish Literary Society

Dervla Murphy will be looking back on her life as a traveller and writer in an event organised by the London-based Irish Literary Society on March 26. The venue is the Bloomsbury Hotel, where the society has been holding its monthly meetings since 2013 (and where I interviewed Murphy in 2015, on the publication of Between Rivers and Sea: Encounters in Israel and Palestine.) Murphy will be talking to Dorothy Allen, deputy chair of the society.

On May 21, the society has another event at which Iain Sinclair (see previous post) will be discussing borderlands with Garrett Carr, whose The Rule of the Land: Walking Ireland’s Border is on the short list for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year.

Iain Sinclair, A-Z

Iain Sinclair’s The Last London, which has been promoted as his farewell to a city whose streets he has tramped and written about for 50 years, has just been published in the United States. To mark the occasion, the Los Angeles Review of Books has “An A-Z of Iain Sinclair” that’s entertaining while being educational about the man’s way of working. It was written by Geoff Nicholson, who, like Sinclair, has made good use of the London A-Z street atlas while researching both fiction and non-fiction.

(At the time of UK publication, last year, Sinclair himself delivered a lecture for the London Review of Books and subsequently wrote a piece for the magazine. You can hear the lecture and read the piece on the LRB site.)

Edward Abbey — a voice crying for the wilderness

“Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary.” For Edward Abbey, writer of those words, that place was the canyonland of south-east Utah, where he served as park ranger at the Arches National Monument. In Desert Solitaire, published 50 years ago this month, he was, as one reviewer memorably put it at the time, “a voice crying in the wilderness, for the wilderness”. It was a passionate, combative book, in which he argued that there should be

No more cars in national parks. Let the people walk. Or ride horses, bicycles, mules, wild pigs — anything — but keep the automobiles and the motorcycles and all their motorized relatives out. We have agreed not to drive our automobiles into cathedrals, concert halls, art museums, legislative assemblies, private bedrooms and the other sanctums of our culture; we should treat our national parks with the same deference, for they, too, are holy places. . .  What about children? What about the aged and infirm? Frankly, we need waste little sympathy on these two pressure groups. Children too small to ride bicycles and too heavy to be borne on their parents’ backs need only wait a few years — if they are not run over by automobiles they will grow up into a lifetime of joyous adventure. . .  The aged merit even less sympathy: after all they had the opportunity to see the country when it was still relatively unspoiled.

Half a century on, when Donald Trump and his interior secretary are intent on opening up parts of “Abbey Country” to oil and gas companies, the message of Desert Solitaire is more urgent than ever, the novelist John Buckley writes in High Country News.

Seven books on short list for Stanford Dolman prize

The short list was announced this evening for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year. The seven titles include two on the topical subject of borders and one on small islands off Britain, a portrait of Pakistan and one of Calcutta, a book driven by the wind and one brimming with stories of the sea. The books are:

Islander: A Journey Around Our Archipelago by Patrick Barkham (Granta, £20)
Inspired by a DH Lawrence short story, Barkham travels through 11 outposts of the British Isles to find out what it means to be an islander.

The Rule of the Land: Walking Ireland’s Border by Garrett Carr (Faber, £13.99)
In the run-up to the UK’s vote on membership of the European Union, Carr walked along a frontier with a troubled past and an uncertain future.

The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta by Kushanava Choudhury (Bloomsbury, £16.99)
Choudhury, born in the US into an Indian family, celebrates daily life and “the myriad enchantments” of a city that, he says, is too often represented as “a horror show”. 

RisingTideFallingStar by Philip Hoare (Fourth Estate, £16.99)
On coastal journeys, Hoare, who is something of a selkie (part human, part seal), tells stories of other artists, from Melville to Bowie, who have been drawn to the sea. 

Where the Wild Winds Are: Walking Europe’s Winds from the Pennines to Provence by Nick Hunt (Nicholas Brealey, £16.99) 
Having walked in Patrick Leigh Fermor’s footsteps to the Golden Horn, Hunt strides out on his own, to follow four of Europe’s winds across the Continent.

Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova (Granta, £14.99)
In the borderlands of Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, Kassabova writes of fences both on the ground and in the head, and of the frontiers between the real and the imagined. 

Travels in a Dervish Cloak by Isambard Wilkinson (Eland, £19.95)
Wilkinson, sent to Pakistan to report on “the war on terror”, is keener to seek out the essence of the country among its mystics, tribal chiefs and feudal lords.

Extracts from the books are online on the Telegraph Travel website and will be in print in the travel section on Saturday. The £5,000 Stanford Dolman prize, formerly the Dolman prize — after the Rev William Dolman, a member of the Authors’ Club, who had been sponsoring it through the club since 2006 — was rebranded in 2015 and is now the centre-piece of an awards scheme run by the bookseller Stanfords in association with the tour operator Hayes and Jarvis and named after Stanfords’ founder: the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards. The winner will be announced on February 1.

For a chance to win all seven short-listed books, keep a close eye on Deskbound Traveller over the next couple of weeks.

In the country of the bear

In midsummer, McNeil River State Game Sanctuary in Alaska is the venue for the largest gathering of the biggest brown bears on earth. Up to 75 bears can be fishing on the McNeil River falls at one time. Christopher Solomon, who was lucky in the lottery for viewing tickets, reports in the latest edition of High Country News on what it’s like to to “brush against nature, where it still exists in all its humming electric-dynamo bigness”.

Going wild at home with Brian Jackman

Over the past 40 years or so, in his wanderings across sub-Saharan Africa, Brian Jackman (right) reckons he has spent the best part of four years under canvas. He has become renowned for his writing on the African bush and its wildlife, and particularly for his chronicling (with the photographer Jonathan Scott) of the daily drama of life and death on the plains in The Marsh Lions and The Big Cat Diary. But he has also found inspiration closer to home. Close, indeed, to where I’m sitting as I write. I live in Stoneleigh, Surrey, and Jackman, now 82 and long resident in Dorset, lived as a boy a few streets away during the Second World War, over the road from my nearest sizeable patch of greenery, Nonsuch Park. In a new collection of his journalism, Wild About Britain (Bradt), he writes:

Nonsuch… had once been the site of a great palace built by Henry VIII and subsequently demolished to pay off the gambling debts of the Countess of Castlemaine, into whose hands it had passed the following century. But of course we knew nothing of this. Instead, enclosed by fleets of blowsy elms, its unshorn meadows were our prairies, its hawthorn hedges our African savannas. In one field a landmine had fallen, blowing a deep crater in the clay that quickly filled with rain; and nature, always swift to exploit a niche, soon transformed it into a wildlife haven…

Nonsuch was the perfect adventure playground, where I swung like Tarzan through the trees, made Robin Hood bows from young ash staves and built Apache dens among the cow parsley…

  But Nonsuch wasn’t the real countryside. He discovered the latter on annual holidays to Cornwall, made possible because his father was a railwayman. Then, when the Blitz was at its height, he was sent to live on a farm near Bude:

For two years I never went to school. Instead, I fed the pigs their daily slops, hunted for hens’ eggs in the nettle beds and learned to milk the cows by hand, leaning my forehead against their warm flanks while swallows twittered in the rafters and the pail foamed white between my knees… It was, I suppose, an unhappy time for an eight-year-old, alone and far from home, but its magic haunts me still… Hardship there was, heartache and cruelty, but beauty and wonder, too, and the awakening of a love of all things wild that has stayed with me to this day.

That love is evident in every piece in Wild About Britain — whether Jackman is in search of the spirit of Laurie Lee in the Cotswolds or watching an otter in Shetland; whether he is introducing us to his favourite corner of Dorset (“a rumpled, tumbling green-gold land of secret combes and sensuously rounded plum-pudding hills”), or striving to understand the single-mindedness of one of his angler mates in pursuit of roach (“A trio of mute swans float past like icebergs in the swirling current, and my mind drifts with them.”).

Many of the pieces appeared first in The Daily Telegraph, and some of them I read before they appeared in print. They never needed editing, just breathing on. My favourite piece in the book is one that embraces two of Jackman’s greatest passions: Cornwall and peregrine falcons. You can read it here on Deskbound Traveller. Then you really ought to buy the book.

‘In Siberia’ with Thubron on Radio 4

Colin Thubron will be questioned about In Siberia by James Naughtie and a group of readers in Radio 4’s Bookclub slot next Sunday.  The book, which he published in 1999, has one of the greatest opening paragraphs in travel writing:

‘The ice-fields are crossed for ever by a man in chains. In the farther distance, perhaps, a herd of reindeer drifts, or a hunter makes a shadow on the snow. But that is all. Siberia: it fills one twelfth of the land-mass of the whole Earth, yet this is all it leaves for certain in the mind. A bleak beauty, and an indelible fear.”

  Over the next 280 pages, he fills in the blanks.

  The programme will be broadcast at 4pm on Sunday and should be available shortly afterwards on the BBC iPlayer.

Fictional route to the Faroe Islands

I’ve never been to the Faroe Islands, those 18 final stepping stones of northern Europe. If I don’t make it there this year, I’ll certainly read The Brahmadells, which according to Joel Pinckney, an intern at The Paris Review, is “a captivating and enlightening immersion into [the] place”. The novel, by Jóanes Nielsen, is one of the first books to be translated into English from Faroese. Pinckney says it “tells a story both intimate, tracing the complex familial legacy of the Brahmadells and other families over several generations, and general, weaving historical documents and characters into its narrative thread”. He interviewed the American translator, Kerri Pierce, for The Paris Review website. You can read a brief extract from the novel itself on the site of the American publisher, Open Letter.

Morality and the Irish border

According to the crime writer Anthony Quinn, the border on the island of Ireland, made suddenly visible again by the Brexit talks, has always been about “more than checkpoints, fortified police stations and a sudden deterioration in the road surface”. In his view, since partition, it has contributed to “a distortion in the psyche and the moral view”. He explains how in a piece for The Irish Times.

fifa coins ps4 . jadwal bola hari ini . Best Hiking Boots