Better Than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers (Lonely Planet Travel Literature)

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9781743217153: Better Than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers (Lonely Planet Travel Literature)

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher*

A collection of original travel stories told by some of the world's best novelists, including Isabel Allende, Peter Matthiessen, Alexander McCall Smith, Joyce Carol Oates, Tea Obreht and DBC Pierre.

Exhilaratingly varied in place, plot, and voice, these tales all share one common characteristic: They manifest a passion for the precious gifts that travel confers, from its unexpected but inevitably enriching lessons about other peoples and places to the truths - sometimes uncomfortable but always enlarging - it reveals about ourselves.

"...a brilliant collection of travel stories...threaded with great warmth, as readers are invited to travel in the company of these famous authors and experience their passions and revelations." BOOKSELLER + PUBLISHER

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places where they travel.

TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category

'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times

'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)

*#1 in the world market share - source: Nielsen Bookscan. Australia, UK and USA. March 2012-January 2013

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About the Author:

Alexander McCall Smith Alexander McCall Smith is a Rhodesian-born Scottish writer and Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh, but globally known as a writer of fiction. His most famous creation is The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, but he has written almost 60 books for adults and children. Arnold Zable Arnold Zable is an award winning writer, whose books include Jewels and Ashes, Cafe Scheherazade, The Fig Tree, Sea of Many Returns, was published by Text in June 2008. His most recent book, Violin Lessons was published in August 2011 to critical acclaim. Bryce Courtenay Bryce Courtenay is a South African born Australian writer and is one of Australia's most commercially successful authors. He has written some 20 novels, but his most well-known book is The Power of One, which was made into a successful film in the early 90s. Carol Birch Carol Birch is a British novelist and is the author of eleven novels. She won the 1988 David Higham Award for the Best First Novel of the Year for Life in the Palace, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize with The Fog Line in 1991, and she was long-listed for the 2003 Man Booker Prize for Turn Again Home. Her novel Jamrach's Menagerie was long-listed for the Orange Prize 2011and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2011. Charles Finch Charles Finch is an American author of mystery novels set in Victorian era England. He lives in Oxford, England. His first novel, A Beautiful Blue Death, introduced gentleman sleuth Charles Lenox. The book was named one of Library Journal's Best Books of 2007 and was nominated for the Agatha Award for best new mystery of 2007. Chris Pavone Chris Pavone's first noel is to be published in March 2012, The Expats. It is a spy thriller that has been generating quite a bit of buzz and is expected to hit the charts. Pavone has worked in publishing for two decades, most notably as an editor at Clarkson Potter. DBC Pierre DBC Pierre is a Dublin-based, Mexico-raised, Australian-born novelist whose most well-known novel is Vernon God Little which won the Booker in 2003. He has published three critically acclaimed novels since. Isabel Allende Isabel Allende is a Chilean-born American writer in the "magic realist" tradition, and is known for novels such as The House of the Spirits and City of the Beasts. In 2004, Allende was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2010, she received Chile's National Literature Prize. Jan Morris Jan Morris is a Welsh writer, most well-known for her travel and history writing, but she has also published two works of fiction. She is a cornerstone contributor to Lonely Planet travel literature anthologies. Marina Lewycka Marina Lewycka is a British novelist of Ukrainian origin. Lewycka's debut novel A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (published as Strawberry Fields: A Novel in the US and Canada) won the 2005 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic writing at the Hay literary festival, the 2005/6 Waverton Good Read Award, the 2005 Saga Award for Wit; it was long-listed for the 2005 Man Booker Prize and short-listed for the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction. Mark Dapin Mark Dapin is a British writer who moved to Australia in the late 1980s. He is the author of Strange Country and King of the Cross, has been editor in chief of ACP's men's magazines, and a hugely popular columnist for Fairfax's Good Weekend. MJ Hyland M.J. Hyland is a British/Australian writer. Her first novel, How the Light Gets In was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Age Book of the Year and also took third place in the Barnes & Noble, Discover Great New Writers Award. How the Light Gets In was also joint winner of the Best Young Australian Novelist Award. Carry Me Down, her second novel, was winner of both the Encore Prize and the Hawthornden Prize and was also short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Hyland lives in Manchester, England, where she teaches in the Centre for New Writing at Manchester University. Nikki Gemmell Nikki Gemmell has written four novels, Shiver, Cleave, Lovesong, The Bride Stripped Bare and The Book Of Rapture. Her work has been internationally critically acclaimed and translated into many languages. In France she's been described as a female Jack Kerouac, in Australia as one of the most original and engaging authors of her generation and in the US as one of the few truly original voices to emerge in a long time. Peter Ho Davies Peter Ho Davies is the author of the novel The Welsh Girl and the story collections The Ugliest House in the World and Equal Love. His work has appeared in Harpers, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The Guardian, Independent, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune, among others. The Welsh Girl was 'long-listed' for the Man Booker Prize 2007, and short-listed for The Galaxy British Book Awards 'Richard and Judy' Best Read in 2008. He was a 2008 recipient of the PEN/Malamud award. He now makes his home in the US and is on the faculty of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Pico Iyer Pico Iyer is a British-born essayist and novelist. He is the author of numerous books on travel including Video Night in Kathmandu. His shorter pieces regularly appear in Time, Harper's, NYRB and many other publications. Like Jan Morris, Pico is a long-time contributor to Lonely Planet anthologies. Ron McLarty Ron McLarty is an actor and author, most known for his book The Memory of Running which was a global bestseller. Sophie Cunningham Sophie is a former acting-publisher at Lonely Planet and has worked in Austyralian publishing for about 25 years, ten years of which as a senior publisher of innovative fiction and non-fiction. Her first novel, Geography, came out in 2004 and was followed by Bird in 2008 Stefan Merrill Block Stefan Merrill Block's first novel, The Story of Forgetting, won Best First Fiction at the Rome International Festival of Literature, the 2008 Merck Serono Literature Prize and the 2009 Fiction Award from The Writers' League of Texas. The Story of Forgetting was also a finalist for the debut fiction awards from IndieBound, Salon du Livre and The Center for Fiction. His second novel, The Storm at the Door has just been published. He lives in Brooklyn. Stephen Kelman Stephen Kelman is an English novelist, whose debut novel Pigeon English was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize. He studied marketing at the University of Luton, and subsequently worked in a factory before writing Pigeon English. Steven Amsterdam Steven Amsterdam is an Australian-based American writer. He's published two novels, Things We Didn't See Coming and What The Family Needed. Things We Didn't See Coming won The Age Book of the Year, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Prize, long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and appeared on the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection. Susan Hill Susan Hill is a prolific English author of fiction and non-fiction works. Her novels include The Woman in Black, The Mist in the Mirror and I'm the King of the Castle for which she received the Somerset Maugham Award in 1971. Suzanne Joinson Suzanne Joinson's first novel A Lady Cyclist's Guide To Kashgar will be published in 2012 and is expected to appear on a number of shortlists for major literary awards. Tea Obrecht Téa Obreht is an American novelist of Bosniak/Slovene descent, born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, now Serbia. Her debut novel, The Tiger's Wife, won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction. Tom Carson Tom Carson is the author of Gilligan's Wake, a New York Times Notable Book of The Year for 2003, and Daisy Buchanan's Daughter, published in 2011. Currently GQ's 'The Critic,' he won two National Magazine Awards for criticism as Esquire magazine's 'Screen' columnist and has been nominated two more times since. He also won the CRMA criticism award for his book reviews in Los Angeles magazine. Walter Kirn Walter Kirn is an American novelist, literary critic, and essayist. His latest book is the 2009 memoir Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever, and his 2001 book Up In The Air was a recent film starring George Clooney. A previous novel, Thumbsucker, also made it to the screen.


"A fine anthology, with numerous fiction writers from Australia and New Zealand joining their colleagues from the UK and the US." (Perceptive Travel)

"Better Than Fiction is a fun collection of travel tales, that I enjoyed reading a few at a time, each joyously took me away from the daily world into a far away place with a few laughs along the way." (Alaskan Apple Users Group Blog 2013-02-07)

"The best of the essays are very personal experiences with meticulous description of place." (A Traveler's Library 2013-01-18)

"For anyone who considers themselves a voracious consumer of travel writing, Better Than Fiction will make for a refreshing and illuminating read... Great travel storytelling, like the work showcased in Better Than Fiction, reminds us that ultimately discovering the truth about the places we visit involves more than just restating the facts." (Gadling 2013-01-07)

"Isabel Allende, Joyce Carol Oates, and more provide warm and lovely stories from an account of an adventure off the beaten path in Malawai to visiting San Quentin Prison and chasing missionaries in far-away regions of Asia. The result is a powerful survey highly recommended for any literary travel collection." (Midwest Book Review)

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