Travel

Kevin Rabalais reviews 'In Brazil: Encountering Festivals, Gods, and Heroes in one of the World's Most Seductive Nations' by Fran Bryson

Kevin Rabalais
30 March 2016

Before his first Brazilian sojourn in 1936, Stefan Zweig – the Viennese author who enjoyed fame as the most widely translated writer in the world between the two world wars – deemed the South American country 'terra incognita in the cultural sense'. Once it had also been unknown in the geographical sense, this 'land that one should hardly call a country ... More

'Letter from New Orleans' by Kevin Rabalais

Kevin Rabalais
18 December 2015

The streets of New Orleans double as scented gardens for the blind. Round any corner in the Vieux Carré – known to most as the French Quarter – and experience the assault of sensory details. It might start with a spicy tang of boiling seafood, crawfish, or shrimp or crabs plucked from the amphibious Louisiana land. Maybe it's frying beignets or praline mixture ... More

Kevin Rabalais reviews 'Deep South' by Paul Theroux

Kevin Rabalais
26 November 2015

The traveller, as V.S. Naipaul describes that role in A Turn in the South (1989), 'is a man defining himself against a foreign background'. Over the past forty years, Paul Theroux has built his career writing books, nearly fifty novels and travelogues, to become an exemplar of that definition. He seeks always to go farther and deeper, often journeying, to b ... More

'Letter from Athens' by Scott McCulloch

Scott McCulloch
28 July 2015

Behind Omonoia Square I check into a cheap hotel, one that mainly sleeps prostitutes and their customers. The receptionist is worn – nicotine fingers, few teeth, sharp cheekbones, gaunt features. His flesh is as green as old tattoos. Leading me down the dank hallway, he lifts up his G-Star Raw T-shirt and scratches a large tattoo of a skull heaving angels from its ... More

Letter from Tehran by Scott McCulloch

Scott McCulloch
27 April 2015

‘We are the children of death and it is death that rescues us from the deceptions of life.’
Sadeq Hedayat

Smoke fills the car as my friend Amir and I share a cigarette and hurtle down the highway from Tehran airport to the north of the gargantuan metropolis. Thin crowns of sunlight emerge from the shadowy horizon. The urban sprawl starts to ... More

2015 Calibre Prize (Winner): 'Staying with the trouble'

Sophie Cunningham
22 April 2015

Percy Grainger walked to avoid self-flagellation. David Sedaris walked to placate his Fitbit. Virginia Woolf walked the streets of London, and later the South Downs, endlessly: because she More

Kathryn Koromilas reviews 'The Demons of Athens' by Vrasidas Karalis

Kathryn Koromilas
27 March 2015

Sing, O muse, of the rage of the daemons, soulless sons of Hellenes, that have brought countless ills upon the Greeks. Sing, O Vrasidas Karalis of your descent into the Greek inferno and of the quarrels that have plagued our citizens. Sing, O brave soul, sing your reports from the Great Devastation.

Forgive my classicist sentimentality. How else to begin a r ... More

Eleanor Hogan reviews the musical journey of 'Cadence'

Eleanor Hogan
22 July 2014

To take to the road on a bike, especially if you are a solo female cyclist, is to make yourself vulnerable, submitting yourself to hours of muscle-taxing solitude and reliance on the kindness of strangers. But while slower and physically more arduous than other modes of transport, cycling brings you closer to your surroundings. It offers different perspectives and u ... More

Alex O'Brien reviews 'Mr Snack and the Lady Water'

Alex O'Brien
27 August 2013

Much travel is unpleasant (with over-expectations, too many tourists, and long distances from Australia), but even the sedentary or timorous persist with it in some ‘misguided duty to culture’, as Brendan Shanahan describes in his first collection of essays, Mr Snack and the Lady Water. Assembling journeys from the mid-1990s until now, Shanahan reco ... More