Travel Memoirs 2024: Visit Unique Perspectives and Places

Travel Memoirs 2024: Visit Unique Perspectives and Places

Travel memoirs offer readers a unique blend of personal experience, historical insight, and cultural exploration. The best travel writers not only take us along on their journeys but also provide a deeper understanding of the places they visit and the histories that shape them. As we look ahead to find relief from the summer of 2024, several new travel memoirs promise to do just that.

Airplane Mode by Shahnaz Habib
Airplane Mode delves into the personal and cultural histories of travel from a postcolonial, person-of-color perspective with both playfulness and depth. It explores the question: what does it mean to find joy in travel in a world marked by the legacies of colonialism, capitalism, and climate change? For Shahnaz Habib, an Indian Muslim woman, travel has always been complicated. Her experiences, both within her home country and abroad, have significantly impacted her life. In this inquisitive and unexpected debut, Habib traces the history of travel—from pilgrimages to empires to safaris. She critiques colonialist perspectives on travel and investigates who holds the privilege to travel and to narrate those experiences.

Roman Year by André Aciman
In Roman Year, André Aciman delves into the period of his adolescence, commencing with his family's arrival in Rome following their expulsion from Egypt. Despite their former affluence in Alexandria, the Acimans faced a stark reality upon their arrival in Rome, where they settled into a rented apartment on Via Clelia. While Aciman's mother and brother managed to acclimate to life in Rome, Aciman himself, feeling adrift, sought solace in the pages of countless books within the confines of his bedroom. Through the world of literature, he eventually found a connection to the city and uncovered its vibrant essence.

How to Live Free in a Dangerous World: A Decolonial Memoir by Shayla Lawson
Shayla Lawson delves into the notion of travel as a political act, particularly in a world where being Black, femme, nonbinary, and disabled can pose significant risks. With their distinctive writing style—bold, robust, and radiant by turns—Lawson embarks on a global journey to uncover profound insights into love, time, and self-discovery. From encounters with a captivating gondolier in Venice to a chance meeting with an ex-husband in the Netherlands, and a poignant reunion on New Year's Eve in Mexico City, Lawson's travels yield unexpected lessons about love and life. They experience the resilience of friendships and the perils of allure during a harrowing escape in Egypt. Delving into themes of Black identity in post-dictatorship Zimbabwe, Lawson also takes readers on a clandestine exploration of Black freedom movements in Portugal.

My Pisces Heart: A Black Immigrant's Search for Home Across Four Continents by Jennifer Neal
As Jennifer relocates from Japan to Chicago, then to Australia before settling in Germany, she intertwines her immigration journey with the local Black histories and politics, offering context for her experiences. This book, with its vulnerable and sometimes heart-wrenching narrative, serves as both a tender homage to immigrants and their stories and a harsh critique of how contemporary discourse jeopardizes them. Traversing through examinations of colonialism and policy, love and loss, hypocrisy and resistance, My Pisces Heart calls for meaningful discourse not only on how we coexist with our pasts but also on how they shape our present and future. It urges an open and honest dialogue on why the West continues to grapple with its historical legacies and envisions its trajectory forward.

Windswept: Life, Nature and Deep Time in the Scottish Highlands by Annie Worsley
A few years back, Annie Worsley left her hectic academic career to embrace life on a small-holding, or croft, on Scotland's west coast. This region is dominated by powerful natural elements—light, wind, and water—that shape the landscape, influence the sea's position, and dictate what can grow. Windswept delves into the experience of living in this rugged, awe-inspiring place characterized by an indomitable spirit and unpredictable weather.

Words Platform Desk
Date 21.05.2024