T+L Asks: Literary Inspiration?
Published: June 2009
Has a book ever inspired you to travel?
After reading about la génération perdue in A Moveable Feast, I planned a weeklong vacation in the City of Light, but stayed for three years. As Hemingway's vivid recollections of the neighborhoods, seasons, and aromas portray, "There is never an ending to Paris."
Barbara K. Allen
Many years ago, I read R. F. Delderfield's trilogy A Horseman Riding By, which describes Devon from 1902 up to the mid-sixties. In 1981 I made my first trip, and when I saw Dartmoor rising up in front of me I thought, "I'm home." After being a visitor for years, I bought a cottage in the tiny Devon hamlet of Gidleigh and just moved here April 1, all thanks to R. F. Delderfield.
I became enamored of D. H. Lawrence's works when I was at Oxford. Twilight in Italy led me to Gargnano, on Lake Garda, where I found all the things he mentioned--lemon groves, the Church of San Tommaso. After reading Etruscan Places I had to see the tombs in Tarquinia and Volterra. I even found the house where Lawrence once lived in Scandicci, near Florence, using a letter he wrote giving directions.
The Sheltering Sky, by Paul Bowles, compelled me to go to Morocco. I found not just the beautiful places he described, and not just an interesting destination. I believe the Morocco he writes about and lives in is a state of mind.
Joanna Yates Brown
Before moving to Melbourne, Australia, for a year, I read Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines. As soon as we could, my husband and I headed for the Red Centre and spent two weeks exploring Uluru (Ayers Rock), the Olgas, Kings Canyon, and Palm Valley. Chatwin's prose perfectly captured the spirituality of the aboriginal people and the desert's surprising beauty.
San Francisco, Calif.
Two books--Paris Cuisine, by James Beard and Alexander Watt, and Blue Trout and Black Truffles, by Joseph Wechsberg--whetted my appetite and inspired my first trip to France. That journey opened up a new world for me; this May marked my 71st gastronomic adventure there.
Martin A. Findur
Rockaway Park, N.Y.
What's the funniest thing that has ever happened during your travels?
If we print your response, we'll send you a Travel & Leisure T-shirt.
E-mail them to TLasks@travelandleisure.com, fax your replies to 800/926-1748, or mail them to T&L Asks Poll, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, 10th floor, New York, NY 10036.