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January 28, 2013

There’s a market for “personal transformation” in travel writing

“There are definitive stories about nearly every place on Earth now. And with so many other ways to get information — if you want to know about Albania, for example, you can now much more easily ask the Albanians — the point of travel writing has fallen out. There’s an increased pressure on travel writers to create a personal arc of, yes, transformation. Sure, you went to Iceland, but did you go there because of a personal crisis and then resolve said issue with a Icelandic lover? No? Well, no six-figure book advance for you then.”
–Jessa Crispin, “On the Road Again,” The Smart Set, August 1, 2011

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