Personal Landscapes
Nigel Barley: The Innocent Anthropologist

Nigel Barley: The Innocent Anthropologist

October 1, 2021

Nigel Barley wrote one of the funniest travel books I've ever read, and it nearly got him kicked out of his academic discipline. We spoke about the grim reality of fieldwork, his odd attraction for monkeys, and why fiction tells us more than anthropology about what it means to be human.

Jeremy Seal: Modern Turkey and the 1960 coup

Jeremy Seal: Modern Turkey and the 1960 coup

August 18, 2021

Jeremy Seal is the author of six books, including A Fez of the Heart. We spoke about the infinite courtesies of Turkish hospitality, cultural divides, and the legacy of the 1960 military coup.

John Gimlette: Madagascar, and ‘walking the dead’

John Gimlette: Madagascar, and ‘walking the dead’

August 5, 2021

John Gimlette is the author of five books, including The Gardens of Mars. We spoke about Madagascar, ‘walking the dead’, and writing about places on the margin of the map.

Sara Wheeler: Russia, Antarctica and how we shape stories

Sara Wheeler: Russia, Antarctica and how we shape stories

July 21, 2021

Sara Wheeler is the author of 10 books, including Mud and Stars. We spoke about her travels in Russia, living as writer-in-residence on an Antarctic research base, and the reciprocal relationship between story and memory.

Jerry Kobalenko: Searching for ghosts on Ellesmere Island

Jerry Kobalenko: Searching for ghosts on Ellesmere Island

July 2, 2021

Jerry Kobalenko is one of Canada’s most experienced High Arctic travelers, and the author of The Horizontal Everest and Arctic Eden. We spoke about the lure of Ellesmere, and searching for the traces of historic travelers.

Lawrence Millman: the Arctic, technology and saving stories

Lawrence Millman: the Arctic, technology and saving stories

June 22, 2021

Lawrence Millman is the author of 18 books, and a master of northern writing. We talked about his book Last Places, eating bird shit in Iceland, and his efforts to preserve stories before they fade away.

Rory Maclean: Berlin, Bowie and the new Cold War

Rory Maclean: Berlin, Bowie and the new Cold War

June 15, 2021

Rory Maclean is the author of 15 books, including Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries. We talk about Berlin, making a film with David Bowie, the state of Europe, and how a glimpse of the Berlin Wall formed a lasting influence on his books.

Anthropology-lite with Barnaby Rogerson of Eland books

Anthropology-lite with Barnaby Rogerson of Eland books

June 8, 2021

Eland has been resurrecting lost travel classics and keeping them in print for more than 35 years. I talk with publisher Barnaby Rogerson about anthropology-lite, why the post-war period was a golden age for British travel writing, and why some of the 20th century’s most exciting writers were autodidacts.

Introducing… Personal Landscapes

Introducing… Personal Landscapes

June 6, 2021

The novelist and island writer Lawrence Durrell believed that everyone has a personal landscape, a landscape that resonates with them on some deep tuning fork level, where you feel most at home, and where you think your deepest thoughts.

I’ve spent more than 20 years exploring such places as a traveler, and as a writer of magazine features and books.

I’m going to talk to the people who write those books and publish those books. Experts on different geographical and cultural regions, and on long-dead writers whose books have entered the canon of travel classics.

I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I enjoy talking to them.

 

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