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.
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
Wings is a love story of France, a blend of travel writing and memoir that reveals the country's art, cuisine, history, and traditions through encounters with characters such as Winged Victory, Claude Monet, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Coco Chanel, and a mélange of writers, filmmakers, and friends. Erin Byrne goes deep to discover little-known aspects of French culture and by doing so, uncovers long-buried qualities of herself. She is transformed and her stories may transform you.“A reverie-inducing glimpse of past and present France.” —Phil Cousineau, author of The Book of Roads
Discover Greece’s Best Places for Women
With style, intelligence, and personal anecdotes gleaned from years of working in Greece, archaeologist and award-winning writer Amanda Summer is your personal guide to the best of Greece. In crisp and often humorous storytelling she introduces you to the temples, shrines, grottoes, and churches of this magnificent country, intricately weaving in stories of the women—from goddesses of mythology Athena, Artemis, and Aphrodite to goddesses of cinema and the arts Melina Mercouri, Irini Papas, and Maria Callas—who have molded the history and culture of Greece itself.
Explore the World with a Legendary Travel Writer
Don George has been captivating readers with chronicles of his wandering adventures for four decades. Here you’ll find his best stories and essays, from climbing Kilimanjaro and contemplating the magic of Uluru to exploring the jungles of Cambodia and the backcountry temples of Shikoku. Let Don open your eyes to the wonders of the world as he falls in love in Greece, encounters whales in Mexico and elephants in East Africa, makes roof tiles in Peru, dances like a South Seas warrior on Aitutaki, and much more.
With a Foreword by Pico Iyer.
In this engaging creative writing workbook, novelist and poet Linda Lappin presents a series of insightful exercises to help writers of all genres—literary travel writing, memoir, poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction—discover imagery and inspiration in the places they love. Lappin departs from the classical concept of the Genius Loci, the indwelling spirit residing in every landscape, house, city, or forest—to argue that by entering into contact with the unique energy and identity of a place, writers can access an inexhaustible source of creative power. The Soul of Place provides instruction on how to evoke that power.
EDITORS’ CHOICE — This Week’s Story
By Robert Reid
An Okie expat and his 76-year-old uncle aim to summit the Black Mesa in the USA's most unlucky and unwanted rectangle.The road’s empty and rising slightly. I lean forward in the driver’s seat and look through the windshield to the biggest skies I’ve ever seen. An immense block of sea-blue smeared in white clouds presses down on fields of cut wheat, peppered in parts with small clumps of trees, a far-off farmhouse, a wind pump. My cellphone signal’s gone, and with it my GPS, so I’m guessing. Is this it?