Tag Archives: Theroux

Interview: Mike Gerrard, Part Two

Destination: Everywhere

Book: Snakes Alive by Mike Gerrard (NEW 2011)

Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama, Photo by Donna Dailey

Yesterday we talked with travel writer Mike Gerrard, author of the new book of travel essays, Snakes Alive,  about his writing and his favorite countries. Here’s some more of the conversation with travel writer Mike Gerrard.

ATL: Where do you want to go that you have never been to?

MG: Cuba is top of the list. I’d love to spend some time traveling in Australia too. Continue reading

Travel Classics 3: V. S. Naipaul

Destination: The Caribbean

Caribbean storm

Caribbean stormDestination: Caribbean and British Guiana

Book: The Middle Passage by V. S. Naipaul

Quotable Thursday quote: I’m the kind of writer that people think other people are reading. V. S. Naipaul

The question is, if a man writes well, does it matter what kind of human being he is?

I delayed reading V. S. Naipaul because although he is always listed as one of the great travel writers, excerpts indicated that he is of that school that dwells on the negative wherever he goes.  ( I learned after I read the book, that he is an abuser of women and a racist.)

How, I wondered, could Naipaul be so revered as a writer if his travel writing consistently discouraged going to the places he explored? In order to find my own answer, I would have to read his work.

I bought two books, The Middle Passage (1962), his first travel book, and An Area of Darkness (1964) which relates to his first journey to India. In an introduction to the edition I read,  he introduces The Middle Passage as his first travel book, but it was not his first published work. He had already gained a reputation as a writer of fiction by 1962. I unwittingly picked up the two books which drew the most criticism to Naipaul as non-sympathetic to third-world countries. Continue reading