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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A literary guide to the world

While researching Italian literature for the guidebooks we're writing at the moment, I came across's Literary Guide to the World. It's by no means exhaustive but it's excellent all the same. It doesn't cover every literary land on the planet, and being a US-based site it's obviously US-centric, with a disproportionate number of American states represented, a lot of prolific European countries missing, and - most astonishing of all - not a single Middle Eastern country listed. And yet, the Mid-East is where some of the most exciting world literature has come from over the last decade or so, especially by women. What were they thinking?! Obviously they weren't at all. But I'll half-forgive them because the project as a whole is superb (have you seen anything similar?) and their lists (once again, by no means comprehensive) give a taste of what wonderful writing different countries and region's of the globe offer. If you're planning a trip, it's definitely a great place to go to start to compile that holiday reading list. And as soon as I get a chance, I'll compile some similar overviews for you for Middle Eastern countries. Pictured? Verona, Italy. Or rather, 'Shakespeare's Verona'.


Anonymous said...

What a great idea. I find books to be an excellent way to get into the mind set of a place I'm planning to visit.

Melody over at Journey's Near and Far has a different travel book giveaway each month. I'm always interested to see what she's reading. Here's the link:

Lara Dunston said...

I totally agree with you. Thanks for the tip, Travel Muse!