2016

Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year
Shortlist 2016

The Land Where Lemons Grow, Helena Attlee

 

About the book

The Land Where Lemons Grow is the sweeping story of Italy's cultural history told through the history of its citrus crops. From the early migration of citrus from the foothills of the Himalayas to Italy's shores to the persistent role of unique crops such as bergamot (and its place in the perfume and cosmetics industries) and the vital role played by Calabria's unique Diamante citrons in the Jewish celebration of Sukkoth, author Helena Attlee brings the fascinating history and its gustatory delights to life. Whether describing the Battle of Oranges in Ivrea, the gardens of Tuscany, or the story of the Mafia and Sicily's citrus groves, Attlee transports readers on a journey unlike any other.

 

 

About the author

Helena Attlee is the author of four books about Italian gardens, and others on the cultural history of gardens around the world. Helena is a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund and has worked in Italy for nearly 30 years.

 
 

WINNER: Down to the Sea in Ships: Of Ageless Oceans and Modern Men, Horatio Clare

 

About the book 

Our lives depend on shipping but it is a world which is largely hidden from us. In every lonely corner of every sea, through every night, every day, and in every imaginable weather, tiny crews of seafarers work the giant ships which keep landed life afloat. These ordinary men live extraordinary lives, subject to dangers and difficulties we can only imagine, from hurricanes and pirates to years of confinement in hazardous, if not hellish, environments. Horatio Clare joins two container ships on their epic voyages across the globe and experiences unforgettable journeys. As the ships cross seas of history and incident, seafarers unfold the stories of their lives, and a beautiful and terrifying portrait of the oceans and their human subjects emerges.

 

About the author 

Horatio Clare is the bestselling author of two memoirs, Running for the Hills (Somerset Maugham Award) and Truant; the travel book A Single Swallow – which follows the birds' migration from South Africa to the UK – and a novella, The Prince's Pen, the retelling of a Mabinogion tale. An award-winning journalist, occasional teacher, former radio producer, sporadic broadcaster and Fellow in creative writing at the University of Liverpool, Horatio writes regularly on nature and travel for the Daily Telegraph, the Financial Times and various international publications. He and his family are currently based in Yorkshire. 

 

Walking the Woods and the Water: In Patrick Leigh Fermor’s footsteps

from the Hook of Holland to the Golden Horn, Nick Hunt

 

About the book 

In 1933, the eighteen year old Patrick Leigh Fermor set out in a pair of hobnailed boots to chance and charm his way across Europe, like a tramp, a pilgrim or a wandering scholar. The books he later wrote about this walk, A Time of GiftsBetween the Woods and the Water, and the posthumous The Broken Road are a half-remembered, half-reimagined journey through cultures now extinct, landscapes irrevocably altered by the traumas of the twentieth century. Aged eighteen, Nick Hunt read A Time of Gifts and dreamed of following in Fermor’s footsteps. In 2011 he began his own great trudge - on foot all the way to Istanbul. He walked across Europe through eight countries, following two major rivers and crossing three mountain ranges. Using Fermor’s books as his only travel guide, he trekked some 2,500 miles through Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. His aim? To have an old-fashioned adventure. To slow down and linger in a world where we pass by so much, so fast. To discover for himself what remained of hospitality, kindness to strangers, freedom, wildness, adventure, the mysterious, the unknown, the deeper currents of myth and story that still flow beneath Europe’s surface.

 

About the author 

Nick Hunt grew up in Bristol, studied English Literature and Creative Writing at UEA, and spent the next few years living in Mexico, the USA and Spain before moving to London. He has written for The EconomistThe Guardian and other publications, and recorded a documentary for BBC Radio 4. He also works as a storyteller, and co-editor of the Dark Mountain journals. 

 

Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place, Philip Marsden

 

About the book 

Rising Ground is an evocative journey around some of Cornwall’s most ancient sites and ritual places, and a profound exploration of the relationship between man and the landscape. From the Neolithic ritual landscape of Bodmin Moor to the Arthurian traditions at Tintagel, from the mysterious china-clay region to the granite tors and tombs of the far south-west, Marsden assembles a chronology of Britain's attitude to place. In archives, he uncovers the life and work of other enthusiasts before him - medieval chroniclers and Tudor topographers, eighteenth-century antiquarians, post-industrial poets and abstract painters. Drawing also on his travels from further afield, Marsden reveals that the shape of the land lies not just at the heart of our own history but of man's perennial struggle to belong on this earth.

 

About the author

Philip Marsden is a writer and journalist. He is the author of several works of travel writing and non-fiction, including most recently The Levelling Sea and The Barefoot Emperor, and a novel, The Main Cages. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in Cornwall with his wife and children.

 

A Journey Into Russia, Jens Mühling

 

About the book 
When Jens Mühling met Juri, a Russian TV producer selling stories about his homeland, he was mesmerised by what he heard. The  real stories of Russia, said Juri, were more  unbelievable than anything that could be invented. The encounter changed Mühling’s life, triggering a number of journeys to the Ukraine and deep into the Russian heartland on a quest for the stories of ordinary and extraordinary people. 

Away from the bright lights of Moscow, Mühling meets and befriends a Dostoevskian cast of characters: a hermit from the Taiga who has recently discovered there’s a world beyond the woods; a Ukrainian Cossack who defaces the statue of Lenin in central Kiev; a priest who insists on returning to  Chernobyl to preach to the stubborn few determined to remain in the exclusion zone.

A Journey into Russia is a revealing glimpse into the Russian soul. Mühling’s empathy unveils a country whose contradictions, attractions and absurdities are still largely unknown to many people outside her borders.

 

About the author

Jens Mühling studied literature at the Free University of Berlin and in Norwich, at the University of East Anglia. He edited a German language newspaper in Moscow (Moskauer Deutschen Zeitung) and since 2005 has worked as a journalist for Der Tagesspiegel in Berlin. Mühling has been the recipient of the Axel Springer Prize and the Peter Boenisch Memorial Award for reportage.

 

Indonesia Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation, Elizabeth Pisani

 

About the book

Indonesia Etc. is an entertaining and fascinating journey through one of the world's largest, most dynamic and most contradictory countries.Elizabeth Pisani, who first worked in Indonesia 25 years ago as a foreign correspondent, set out in 2011, travelling over 13,000 miles, to rediscover its enduring attraction, and to find the links which bind together this disparate nation. Fearless and funny, and sharply perceptive, she has drawn a compelling and deeply informed portrait of a captivating nation.

 

About the author 

Elizabeth Pisani was Indonesia correspondent for Reuters and the Economist from 1988 to 1991. She worked with Indonesia's Ministry of Health from 2001 to 2005 as an epidemiologist, and spent 2011 travelling the archipelago. Pisani is the author of The Wisdom of Whores (Granta, 2008), and speaks several languages, including Indonesian.

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