Related to: 'Walking the Himalayas'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder & Stoughton

Arabia

Levison Wood
Authors:
Levison Wood
John Murray

Britain by the Book

Oliver Tearle
Authors:
Oliver Tearle

What caused Dickens to leap out of bed one night and walk 30 miles from London to Kent?How did a small town on the Welsh borders become the second-hand bookshop capital of the world?Why did a jellyfish persuade Evelyn Waugh to abandon his suicide attempt in North Wales? A multitude of curious questions are answered in Britain by the Book, a fascinating travelogue with a literary theme, taking in unusual writers' haunts and the surprising places that inspired some of our favourite fictional locations. We'll learn why Thomas Hardy was buried twice, how a librarian in Manchester invented the thesaurus as a means of coping with depression, and why Agatha Christie was investigated by MI5 during the Second World War. The map of Britain that emerges is one dotted with interesting literary stories and bookish curiosities.

Hodder & Stoughton

Step By Step

Simon Reeve
Authors:
Simon Reeve

Shortlisted for the 2019 Edward Stanford Award 'My goodness, it is brilliant. Searingly honest, warm, bursting with humanity. Such brave and inspiring writing.' Kate Humble'I couldn't put it down, literally couldn't put it down... A cracking autobiography. It's so diverse, it's beautifully written. It's a real page-turner...The best autobiography of anyone under 50 I've ever read.' Chris Evans, BBC Radio 2'[Simon] begins to fill in the gaps in his life story that until recently he has never publicly revealed.' TelegraphPRAISE FOR SIMON REEVE'TV's most interesting globetrotter' Independent'The craziest (or bravest) man on TV' Mail on Sunday'Like all the best travellers, Reeve carries out his investigations with infectious relish, and in the realisation that trying to understand the country you're in is not just fascinating, but also hugely enjoyable' Daily Telegraph'Simon might just be the best tour guide in the world' The Sun* * * * * * * * *The inspiring memoir from TV traveller Simon Reeve's life of amazing adventures in over 120 countries and the most remote and extreme corners of the planet.TV adventurer Simon Reeve has journeyed across epic landscapes, dodged bullets on frontlines, walked through minefields and been detained for spying by the KGB. His travels have taken him across jungles, deserts, mountains and oceans, and to some of the most beautiful, dangerous and remote regions of the world. In this revelatory account of his life Simon gives the full story behind some of his favourite expeditions, and traces his own inspiring personal journey back to leaving school without qualifications, teetering on a bridge, and then overcoming his challenges by climbing to a 'Lost Valley' and changing his life ... step by step.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Why Travel Matters

Craig Storti
Authors:
Craig Storti
Hodder & Stoughton

Eastern Horizons

Levison Wood
Authors:
Levison Wood
Sceptre

Outskirts

John Grindrod
Authors:
John Grindrod
Hodder & Stoughton

Walking the Americas

Levison Wood
Authors:
Levison Wood

LONGLISTED IN THE ADVENTURE TRAVEL CATEGORY OF THE 2017 BANFF MOUNTAIN BOOK AWARDS SUNDAY TIMES TOP 10 BESTSELLER BY THE AUTHOR OF WALKING THE HIMALAYAS, WINNER OF THE 2016 EDWARD STANFORD ADVENTURE TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD'Levison Wood has breathed new life into adventure travel.' Michael PalinWalking the Americas chronicles Levison Wood's 1,800 mile trek along the spine of the Americas, through eight countries, from Mexico to Colombia, experiencing some of the world's most diverse, beautiful and unpredictable places.His journey took him from violent and dangerous cities to ancient Mayan ruins lying still unexplored in the jungles of Mexico and Guatemala. He encountered members of indigenous tribes, migrants heading towards the US border and proud Nicaraguan revolutionaries on his travels, where at the end of it all, he attempted to cross one of the most impenetrable borders on earth: the Darien Gap route from Panama into South America.This trek required every ounce of Levison Wood's guile, tact, strength and resilience in one of the most raw, real and exciting journeys of his life.

Sceptre

How To Read Water

Tristan Gooley
Authors:
Tristan Gooley
Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Gatecrashing Paradise

Tom Chesshyre
Authors:
Tom Chesshyre

Away from the five-star hotels and beyond luxury hideaways, Tom Chesshyre travels to see the real, unexplored Maldives, skirting around the archipelago's periphery, staying at simple guesthouses, and using cargo ships and ferries. He discovers that beyond the glossy brochures lies an almost undiscovered country that is brimming with life, yet also a paradise teetering on the brink of trouble.In the Maldives outsiders used to be banned from islands not officially endorsed as tourist resorts, but now a thousand sandy shores can be visited in this remote nation deep in the Indian Ocean the flattest on Earth.This is island-hopping for the twenty-first century, sailing around 600 miles of the most beautiful islands and atolls on Earth, often to communities that have not seen an outsider for decades, ...and gatecrashing the odd posh hotel.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Never Mind the Bullocks

Vanessa Able
Authors:
Vanessa Able

**A Scotsman Non-Fiction Book of the Year** Vanessa Able wanted a truly independent Indian adventure, but nothing prepared her for the noise, chaos and terror of driving 10,000 km around the subcontinent or for finding the love of her life. Behind the wheel of a yellow Tata Nano (the world s cheapest car), Vanessa steers the reader through a hilarious, high-octane adventure.Taking any help she can get from loopy spiritual gurus to professional driving instructors, and even a divine insurance policy she drives her way around an alien road network through India s white-knuckle traffic where vehicle size, full-beam lights and roads that simply disappear seem to trump all common sense. Narrowly escaping death by truck, she learns the real rules of the road, the vehicle pecking order, what to do when the SH11T hits the fan and to appreciate the true kings of the dusty tarmac: the bullocks. En route, she falls hopelessly in love with a mathematician named Thor who might be, ironically, the worst driver she s ever met. Their romance does not start promisingly the first rendezvous is interrupted by that universal passion-killer, Delhi belly but will they survive unexpected sheep-jams, a car full of elephant slime, and the endless cacophony of horns?

Hodder Paperbacks

Clarissa's England

Clarissa Dickson Wright
Authors:
Clarissa Dickson Wright

The quintessential Englishwoman Clarissa Dickson Wright, one of the Two Fat Ladies and author of Spilling the  Beans, takes us on a personal journey through the country of her birth.From Cornwall to Cumbria, Norfolk to Northumbria she brings her extraordinary knowledge, huge passion, forthright opinions and inimitable wit to the distinctive history and regional character of every corner of England.In her cornucopia of local knowledge she reveals, for example, how Boudicca was the original Essex girl, that Lincolnshire has a coriander crop second only in size to India's, and just why a Cornish pasty should never contain carrots.As much an entertaining narrative as it is a travel companion, Clarissa's England will amuse, enlighten, surprise and delight all those who read it.

Craig Storti

Craig Storti is founder and co-director of Communicating Across Cultures, a Washington DC-based intercultural communication training and consulting firm. With work appearing in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune, he is the author of six books. Having lived nearly a quarter of his life abroad, he lives now in Maryland. www.craigstorti.com

Levison Wood

Levison Wood is an award-winning author, explorer and photographer who specialises in documenting people and cultures in remote regions and post-conflict zones. His work has taken him around the world leading expeditions on five continents and he is an elected fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club.Levison's second book, Walking the Himalayas, was voted Adventure Travel Book of the Year at the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards and his other books, Walking the Nile and Walking the Americas, were both Sunday Times bestsellers. He has presented several critically acclaimed documentaries including From Russia to Iran: Crossing the Wild Frontier where he re-traced part of his Silk Road adventures in a four-part series for Channel 4.

Patrick Leigh Fermor

In December 1933, at the age of eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) walked across Europe, reaching Constantinople in early 1935. He travelled on into Greece, where in Athens he met Balasha Cantacuzene, with whom he lived - mostly in Rumania - until the outbreak of war. Serving in occupied Crete, he led a successful operation to kidnap a German general, for which he won the DSO and was once described by the BBC as 'a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene'. After the war he began writing, and travelled extensively round Greece with Joan Eyres Monsell whom he later married. Towards the end of his life he wrote the first two books about his early trans-European odyssey, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. He planned a third, unfinished at the time of his death in 2011, which has since been edited by Colin Thubron and Artemis Cooper and published as The Broken Road.

Paul Carter

Paul Carter was born in England in 1969. His father's military career had the family moving all over the world, relocating every few years. Paul has worked in the oil industry now for fifteen years, relocating every few years (old habits). Paul has lived, worked, gotten into trouble and been given a serious talking to in England, Scotland, Germany, France, Holland, Norway, Portugal, Tunisia, Australia, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Borneo, Columbia, Vietnam, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Sumatra, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, China, USA and Saudi Arabia. Today he lives in Perth with his wife, baby daughter and two motorbikes. But who knows where he'll be tomorrow . . .

Peter Hopkirk

Peter Hopkirk travelled widely in the regions where his six books are set: Central Asia, the Caucasus, China, Russia, India and Pakistan, Iran, and Eastern Turkey. He worked as an ITN reporter, the New York correspondent of the old Daily Express, and - for twenty years - on The Times. No stranger to misadventure, he was twice held in secret police cells and has was also hijacked by Arab terrorists. His works have been translated into many languages. All six of his books are available from John Murray: THE GREAT GAME, ON SECRET SERVICE EAST OF CONSTANTINOPLE, SETTING THE EAST ABLAZE, TRESPASSERS ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD, FOREIGN DEVILS ON THE SILK ROAD and QUEST FOR KIM.

Sarah Outen

Sarah Outen is a British adventurer, motivational speaker and author. In November 2015 Sarah completed her London2London: Via the World expedition, which saw her attempt to kayak, cycle and row 25,000 miles around the Northern Hemisphere. The journey took 4.5 years and was all the richer for not turning out exactly as had been planned.www.sarahouten.com@SarahOuten

Sarah Turnbull

Despite having failed French in her first year at University, journalist Sarah Turnbull moved to France from Sydney in the mid 1990s. Her articles appear regularly in a variety of magazines such as Marie Claire, for which she is a contributing editor. She lives in Paris with her husband Frederic and their dog, Maddie.

Thomas Keneally

Thomas Keneally began his writing career in 1964 and has published thirty-one novels since. They include Schindler's Ark, which won the Booker Prize in 1982 and was subsequently made into the film Schindler's List, and The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith, Confederates and Gossip From The Forest, each of which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His most recent novels are The Daughters Of Mars, which was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize in 2013, Shame and the Captives and Crimes of the Father. He has also written several works of non-fiction, including his memoir Homebush Boy, Searching for Schindler and Australians. He is married with two daughters and lives in Sydney.

Tristan Gooley

Tristan Gooley is a writer, navigator and explorer. Through his journeys, teaching and writing, he has pioneered a renaissance in the rare art of natural navigation.Tristan has led expeditions in five continents and is the only living person to have both flown solo and sailed singlehanded across the Atlantic. He has explored close to home and walked with and studied the methods of tribal peoples in some of the remotest regions on Earth.