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NEWS

Billy Gogan Sequel Launches Spring Books

We’re getting a jump on spring with the publication of Billy Gogan, Gone fer Soldier, book two in the Billy Gogan series from Solas House Fiction. Follow Billy’s adventures as he flees New York and joins the army and lands in the Mexican-American War where he becomes an aide to the young officer Ulysses S. Grant. Later this spring look for Strange Tales of World Travel by Gina and Scott Gaille (with a foreword by Don George), who recount fifty of the most amazing stories they’ve been told in travels to more than 100 countries. Then get ready for The Girl Who Said No, Natalie Galli’s exploration of Sicily in search of the woman who broke a 1000-year-old Sicilian tradition by refusing to marry her abductor.

Solas Awards Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of the Thirteenth Annual Solas Awards for Best Travel Story of the Year. Grand Prize winner David Robinson collected $1000 for “The Mystery of the Sahara,” his poignant evocation of a place and a person both shrouded in mystery. Matthew Félix won the silver award and $750 for “The Citroën and the Pomegranate,” his engaging account of an astonishing set of coincidences on his travels from Istanbul to Barcelona to Hvar. Sivani Babu took the bronze and $500 for “The House on KVR Swamy Road,” her moving reflection on family life and the passage of time on a visit to her grandparents’ house in Rajahmundry, India.

NEW BOOKS

Billy Gogan, American

BillyGogan1844 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

Wings front cover-10.15-webWings 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

100 Places in Greece Every Woman Should Go

100 Places Greece_front cover webDiscover 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.

The Way of Wanderlust

WOW_front-coverExplore 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.

The Soul of Place

The Soul of Place 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

Love in a Time of Abundance

travelers-talesBy Amanda Castleman

Grand Prize Silver Winner in the Fourteenth Annual Solas Awards

Navigating grief with the Okavango Delta’s last generation of Bushmen hunter-gatherers.

When he was 15, Ditshebo “Dicks” Tsima took his spear into the bush. Hunting was still legal in Botswana’s Okavango Delta then, so he could follow an ancient coming-of-age tradition, practiced for around 200,000 years by his people: the Bushmen.

Most young men ran down giraffes, their lean muscles churning to pace the world’s tallest animals, which can cruise comfortably at 10 mph. Hour after hour, they pursued the lolloping giants through the mosaic landscape where Africa’s last wetland wilderness drains into the Kalahari Desert. Islands, scrub, and grasslands all flashed by: a fractal terrain of riverine lushness and heat-seared dust. “You chase them until they get exhausted and stand their ground,” Dicks explains. “Then you spear them. That’s the best way for a family to judge your worth. If you can chase down a giraffe, then your in-laws know you will take good care of your bride.”