We're thrilled to announce the winners of the Eleventh Annual Solas Awards for Best Travel Story of the Year. Grand Prize winner James Michael Dorsey collected $1,000 for "Jordan's Bull," his powerful account of an encounter with a nomadic boy on an island in the Niger River in Mali. Katherine Jamieson won the silver award and $750 for "Bubble-Up," her poignant story of a surprising tropical love in Guyana. Anna Vodicka claimed the bronze award and $500 for "The Remnants of War: A Meditation on Peleliu," her thought-provoking essay about the power of nature and people to transcend the lasting effects of war. Congratulations to all, and here's the complete list of winners.
The Best Women's Travel Writing, Volume 11 presents stimulating, inspiring, and uplifting adventures from women who have traveled to the ends of the earth to discover new places, peoples, and facets of themselves. The common threads connecting these stories are a female perspective and fresh, compelling storytelling to make the reader laugh, weep, wish she were there, or be glad she wasn't. The 31 true travel stories in this year's collection are, as always, wildly diverse in theme and location. They tell of places like California and Cuba, Switzerland and Singapore, Iran and Iceland, Montana and Mexico and Mongolia and Mali, our own back yards and some of the farthest, most extreme corners of the world. They are the personal stories we can't help but collect when we travel, stories of reaching out to embrace the unfamiliar and creating cross-cultural connections while learning more about ourselves.
“Makes me want to pack my bag and follow Van Allen’s alluring suggestions...she reveals an intimacy with Italy and a honed sense of adventure. Andiamo!” —Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun.
Imagine creating your Italian dream vacation with a fun-loving savvy traveler girlfriend whispering in your ear. Go along with writer Susan Van Allen on a femme-friendly ride up and down the boot, to explore this extraordinarily enchanting country where Venus (Vixen Goddess of Love and Beauty) and The Madonna (Nurturing Mother of Compassion) reign side-by-side. With humor, passion, and practical details, this uniquely anecdotal guidebook will enrich your Italian days.
DISCOVER SPAIN'S BEST PLACES FOR WOMEN
Patricia Harris began her love affair with Spain shortly after the death of dictator Francisco Franco, and she has since witnessed the country’s amazing renaissance in art, culture, and cuisine. Drawing on three decades of intimate acquaintance, she leads readers down to the docks of fishing villages, along twisting mountain roads, into the shoe outlets of Elche, out to the muddy saffron fields of La Mancha. She takes you through the streets of Sevilla, Madrid, Barcelona, and San Sebastian to dark flamenco clubs, sybaritic public baths, endlessly inventive tapas bars, design shops full of mantillas and fans, and into a brightly tiled chocolatería for hot chocolate and churros at 3 a.m.
Harris explores art from Velázquez to Picasso, architecture from the phantasmagoria of Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia to the cool suspension spans of Santiago Calatrava. She tells tales of formidable Spanish women, from a fourth-century b.c. goddess to a queen who wrested Spain from the Moors, and to twenty-first-century winemakers who have elevated Spain’s Toro and Rueda onto the world stage. Literary, sexy, whimsical, and spiritual, 100 Places in Spain Every Woman Should Go is for the smart and curious traveler who wants to see Spain, her way.
CELEBRATING GREAT TRAVEL WRITING
Travelers’ Tales publishes books about the world and life-changing experiences that happen on the road. The Best Travel Writing, Volume 11 is our latest collection of great stories guaranteed to ignite your wanderlust.
Includes Grand Prize Winners, Solas Awards
Introduction by Rolf Potts
Ireland is on the eve of the Great Hunger
The Promised Land of New York is a dangerous place
Billy Gogan’s father has just died in an English prison in Dublin, and 15-year-old Billy has been cast from cousin Séamas’s house and forced to make his way to America. Aboard a ramshackle old ship, Billy befriends a destitute Irish peasant named Máire and her daughter Fíona, and together they endure a harsh and perilous passage to America’s greatest city. When they finally reach New York, they get separated as they debark, and Billy searches tirelessly for them in the brutal Five Points, the city’s greatest slum, ground zero in the collision of Americans, ex-slaves, and Irish refugees.
“Higgins is a bare-knuckled storyteller. In this brawny novel, he transports us to the hardscrabble lives of mid-1800s New York Irish immigrants. Though each day brings a new brawl for survival, under Higgins’s deft touch, the heartbeat of tenderness, love, and even racial enlightenment pulses through ‘Gotham’s’ brutal veins.” —Gary Buslik, author of A Rotten Person Travels the Caribbean, and Professor of English, University of Illinois, Chicago
EDITORS’ CHOICE — This Week’s Story
By Leslie Oh
A weaving workshop on the Navajo Reservation bonds a mother and daughter and offers a lesson about how to live a balanced life.Mom and I breathed deeply four times in the cool shadow of Table Mesa. In the distance, a worn road led southward through the Navajo Reservation and northward to Shiprock, New Mexico. The white tips of Dibe Nitsaa, Mount Hesperus, the sacred mountain of the North, whispered above. We stretched our arms into a sky as turquoise as the stone in the necklace Mom made me. Father Sky. Swollen gray clouds drifted slowly by. Then we folded ourselves in two; our fingertips brushed the red soil swirling about our feet. Mother Earth. Mom’s eyes remained closed as she inhaled one more time and brought her arms to her chest, the way she normally embraced me with all her might. I wanted to melt there but instead I stood awkwardly beside her, trying to mime a graceful pattern of arm and leg movements that resembled Tai Chi. We faced East (thinking), then South (planning), West (living), and North (wisdom).