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Co-edited by Dea Birkett
Amazonian: The Penguin Book of Women’s New Travel Writing
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Amazonian: The Penguin Book of Women’s New Travel Writing

Amazonian: The Penguin Book of Women’s New Travel Writing

Almost ten years ago, Sara Wheeler and I were sharing a bowl of risotto and wondering where all the women travel writers were. Men were stomping all over the place, and writing about their absurd adventures. It wasn’t that women weren’t doing it – and writing about it – it’s just that they hardly ever met up even when their routes crossed. We decided to change that, and formed the Amazonians, an informal group of women travel writers who met once a month in a seedy central London pub for gossip and a pint. (We didn’t drink halves.)

From this informal group, the idea of a book of women’s travel writing arose. We quickly determined three things. First, that every contribution would be an original piece of writing. This would not be a collection of reprints from famous women of the past. Secondly, that it would include places most distant as well as most familiar. (My contribution was on Folkestone, Kent.) And thirdly, that we wouldn’t only ask travel writers to contribute. Novelists, journalists and even one actress (Imogen Stubbs) wrote chapters. We hoped that such a broad range of locations and style would break travel writing out of its ghetto.


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