‘How Does Travel Inform Writing?’

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  07.15.09 | 10:37 AM ET

The Sicily Papers author Michelle Orange fields that question in a Q&A at The Virginia Quarterly Review. Here’s the last part of her answer:

You’re tested constantly, you get to see what you’re made of, you spend a lot of time literally trying to understand the people around you—in a way all of the metaphors of life are amplified—and then you grapple with a way to communicate what you have learned and seen and felt. I used to feel more at home or at peace among strangers, and I’m losing that, which is probably a good thing personally—there can be an unhappy measure of cultivating your “aloneness” to it—although not as great professionally. I think travel provides a particular frame for the question all good writing struggles to answer: What is it like to be here, to be human?

Orange also has a piece in the summer issue of VQR, Beirut Rising. Only the first part is available online.

World Hum contributor Tom Bissell also has a piece in the issue that’s partially available online, Looking for Judas.

2 Comments for ‘How Does Travel Inform Writing?’

Jay 07.15.09 | 4:49 PM ET

seems like you’re contradicting yourself.  travelling tends to attract the more free spirited, loner types.  the question of being human seems to be more of how you relate to others.

Mel 08.05.09 | 5:00 PM ET

Jay-  When you travel you interact with other humans.  I don’t think it is a contradiction at all.  In fact I think it’s very well said.

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