Tag Archives: travel

Kitaab launches “the best asian travel writing 2020” at singapore writers festival 2020

The inaugural volume of The Best Asian Travel Writing 2020 (TBASS 2020), edited by Percy Fernandez, has been launched at the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) this year.

Stories from the inaugural edition of The Best Asian Travel Writing offer you glimpses into the curious, strange and wonderful experiences in Asia through the eyes and words of our writers. They travelled to find the roots in Cherrapunji, discover the wonders of Bamiyan, volunteer in the high Himalaya, looking for Malgudi among others that offer a frisson of excitement and expectation.

The writers featured in this volume include Arjen Joyce, Vibhav Bisht, Zac O’Yeah, Anita Anand, Suzanne Kamata, Harsimran Kaur, Robin Boustead, Martin Bradley and Anindita Das.

Copies of this volume can be ordered from the SWF festival bookstore here (local shipping is free) until 15 Dec 2020.

About the editor
Currently the Professor & Chairperson, School of Media & Communication MAHE, Dubai, Dr. Percy Fernandez has straddled the world of academics, print, TV, online media and has produced documentaries and TV shows for media organizations like Channel 4, the BBC, Fox TV. He was the expedition photographer for the 2013 NCC Everest Expedition.

All volumes of The Best Asian series can be ordered from kitaabstore.com.

“Beauty and creativity coexisted with all the difficult realities of the city!” – Taran N Khan

Team Kitaab is in conversation with Taran N. Khan, the author of Shadow City (Published by Penguin India, 2020) where we discuss Kabul, her love for the city and her fascination for it which led to this book.

Taran N. Khan is a journalist and non-fiction writer based in Mumbai. Her writing has appeared in GuernicaAl JazeeraBerfroisHimal SouthasianGulf News and Dagsavisen, as well as in leading publications in India like The CaravanOpenThe Hindu and Scroll.in. She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Logan Non-Fiction Program, Jan Michalski Foundation and Pro Helvetia. From 2006 to 2013, Khan spent long periods living and working in Kabul. Shadow City is her first book.

Taran N. Khan’s Shadow City is a fascinating read on Kabul. Interestingly, the first thing, Khan, was told when she reached Kabul, was to never venture for a walk. And that is exactly what she did- explore the city through walks, which further led to this book.

From “I have a complicated relationship with walking…” to writing a book on exploring an entire city through a series of walks. Has writing this book redefined walks/walking for her, we wondered. To which Khan says, “The book was shaped in part by this complicated relationship, which is still evolving. During the recent lockdown in Mumbai, for instance, I was not able to walk as often as I used to. When I did go out, it felt like a different terrain. Emptied of its crowds, the bare bones of the metropolis emerged, and I could see features that had always existed, but had been invisible to me.”

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Editor’s Pick: The Week that was…

Apart from the pandemic, globally we seem to be battling on so many other fronts as well. From floods to forest fires, the natural calamities around us are scary. Every day as we wake up, our hearts pray for some good news amidst all the chaos that surrounds us. And it is this positivity which has helped us stay afloat. Positive stories of humanity, compassion and love show us how together, we will come out of this stronger and better.

“In times of this corona pandemic, people often ask when the world will return to its normal days! Don’t wait for normal days! Assume that abnormal days are normal days! Today’s abnormal normal is now our new normal! The world may not return to its old days; the smart person is the person who adapts to the changing world! All days are normal as long as you adjust yourself to the changes no matter how dramatic these changes are!”

Mehmet Murat ildan
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Lonely Planet to shutter its London and Melbourne offices

Travel publisher Lonely Planet is to drastically reduce its publishing and close “almost entirely” its London and Melbourne offices as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Under proposals outlined by the company, it will also shutter the line of what it calls inspirational titles, i.e. non-guidebooks which includes children’s books, and will no longer publish the Lonely Planet magazine.

A statement issued by the company said: “Due to the impact of Covid-19 on demand and sales, Lonely Planet has made the difficult decision to reduce its publishing operations for the foreseeable future. Lonely Planet will continue to publish guidebooks and phrasebooks.”

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Short story: Insentient

By Srinjoy Bhattacharjee

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I was axed a couple of days ago. I now lie on the bank of the muddy river that had swollen up a few days back, thanks to the rain. Dumped in the open in the wet weather with a pile of objects, all a part of the same thing – logs chopped off a parent tree. I was  part of a branch not too long ago and birds perched had on me. Now I am at the mercy of a drunk who might opt to reduce me to cinders when he pleases.

However, this is not about me, this is about the dead. Strictly speaking, I am dead too – inanimate so to say, but people don’t care much about trees – neither for the ones standing in the woods nor for those chopped. In fact, at times, rather most of the times, they don’t probably care for each other – even for the living ones, leave aside the dead. I don’t care about the dead either. Because I don’t see the point in caring for them, and besides, they don’t need your care — they are dead. But this is not about any random dead person, it is about the one that is about to be brought here in some time. Ah! There she comes.

There were leaves once that stemmed out of me. And from time to time they shed, giving way to new ones. On one such occasion a leaf drifted afloat from my branch down the aerial path to alight softly on her hair; that was when I first saw her. And I fell in love with her. Juvenile she was, probably thirteen, as old as the tree I presume. That made us coevals. Read more

Call for submissions: The Best Asian Travel Writing 2019

The Best Asian Travel Writing series is the first of its kind, showcasing Asia’s finest travel writing. This second edition of TBATW is due for publishing in 2019.

We are looking for submissions from travel writers. The edition will choose the best twenty or so pieces from the submissions. By ‘Asian travel writers’, we mean all travel writers who belong to the continent of Asia, including the Middle East (West Asia).

We aim to amplify the voices of Asian writers in the field of travel writing and while priority will be given to authors who come from Asian countries, non-Asian authors who have resided in and written extensively about an Asian country will also be considered.

TBATW will include a wide variety of work that will capture the wonder, humour, fear and joy that greets us all every time when we travel. Importantly, it will also capture the frisson of excitement and uncertainty in the air when we embark on a journey to a new place, or even to a familiar one.

TBATW aims to corral stories on nature/conservation, cultural history, sociological and anthropological manifestations, the outdoors and adventure, gastronomy, and any other compelling idea you think that would meld into the edition and add to its freshness. Read more