Lawrence Millman at

This month at the Writers page, I interview adventure travel writer Lawrence Millman, who is the author of eleven books, including Northern Latitudes, Last Places, An Evening Among Headhunters, and Lost in the Arctic. His travel reportage has also appeared in such magazines as Smithsonian, National Geographic Adventure, The Atlantic Monthly, Sports Illustrated, and Islands.

As an adventure writer, Millman admits that the biggest challenge to researching a given story is often himself. “I habitually misread my compass, fall through ice, tumble down mountains, and somehow succeed in insulting the witch doctor,” he says, “so my biggest challenge on the road is discovering a way to curb my ineptitude.” Amidst the misadventures, Millman strives to capture a personal point of view as well as a sense of place. “Never forget that point of view matters as much as delineation of place,” he says. “Your point of view. For good travel writing is as much about the writer — his or her prejudices, politics, love life, and so on — as it is about Place.”

Amidst the business challenges of travel writing, Millman points to overzealous editors. “Editors are a challenge if not an impediment,” he says. “Equipped with primitive tools, they cut huge bleeding chunks from my manuscripts. Or armed with blunder-busses, they fire random fusillades at my unarmed prose. The result? A remarkably pissed-off Muse. If it weren’t for the fact that I need them, I’d take out a fatwah on almost all editors from sea to shining sea.”

For the full interview of Lawrence Millman (whom I first met in person over whiskies with Tim Cahill at this year’s Key West Literary Seminar), click here.

Posted by | Comments Off on Lawrence Millman at  | December 1, 2006
Category: Travel News

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