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The Best American Travel Writing 2012

    BATW 2012

    The Best American Travel Writing 2012 is out.

    I started writing about travel just a few years shy of the debut, 12 years ago, of this annual series of the best travel stories from American publications. For most of the last dozen years, I have treated myself to the BATW, usually at Christmas time. It’s a professional expense, yes. But the book also gives me insight into the sort of travel writing readers are responding to, which places are being written about, what their angles are, and which publications are still promoting and producing quality travel tales. Browsing the table of contents as well as the “Notable Travel Writing” in the back of the book provides a snapshot of where the best writing is being done and who is doing it.

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    Worth Your Time: Abandoned Cuban Ballet School, Erotic Books, Turkey’s Golden Age of Spying

       

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      Plan for Cuban Ballet School a Dance of Art, Politics — “…the school’s original structures are intact, a dazzling swirl of red brick shapes and huge domelike Catalonian vaults set against the lush green jungle. The winding corridors, stairways and sightlines come together in a cascade of twists and graceful curves, like music turned to stone.”

      Ten Erotic Books Sexier Than Fifty Shades of Grey — “The following ten erotic books are alternatives we at Time Out New York find riskier, sexier and simply better written than E.L. James’s feminist-baiting juvenilia.” Includes Nicholson Baker’s Vox and How a Person Should Be by Sheila Heti. Great round-up.

      Istanbul: A City of Spies: In Fact and Fiction — “Turkey’s golden age of espionage was World War II, a period that continues to serves as a muse for writers of historical thrillers.”

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