I love to lose myself to a book just as I love to lose myself to a place.
When I was in high school, I read Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast and vowed to travel to Paris—and pile up my own tower of saucers at the Closerie des Lilas—someday. Later I journeyed with Thomas Hardy to England and William Butler Yeats to Ireland; Proust showed me France; Henry Miller and John Fowles were my guides to Greece; Lafcadio Hearn introduced me to Japan. All of these authors brought unknown parts of the world to life for me in deeply thrilling ways.
This column is founded on that lesson: A book with a great sense of place—be it memoir, reportage, or fiction—enacts a journey that can be as illuminating and fulfilling as any actual journey: introducing us to new landscapes, cultures, and characters; scents, textures, and tastes; traditions, conflicts, and dreams. My goal is to be a bridge between readers who love to travel and great books that take us places. "Trip Lit" will introduce you to the most transporting new books that are appearing each month, and take you with me on some of my most memorable literary rides. I look forward to sharing the journey with you!