Related to an earlier post about Quality Hunters, I’m eager to explore the topic of travel fiction a bit more.
I guess a very traditional way of defining travel fiction is something along the lines of characters physically moving from one place to another, talking about it, learning, discussing, getting into trouble and awkward situations, enjoying and finding new horizons.
Say, Around the world in 80 days or something equally unsurprising?
Another way of defining the concept, more from the reader’s point of view, could be simply to include all fiction any given person reads while travelling.
For me, this would include e.g. The history of love (still remember how the evenings in Porto sounded like when I read the book on my balcony), The road (read it in Vientiane and kept thinking how terribly engaging a book can be even when nothing too much happens, father and son are walking on an endless route it seems), or The Friday night knitting club which I read while relaxing on a small island in Thailand.
None of these novels are set in Finland, so could they also count as travel fiction according to my next criterium?
Perhaps travel fiction could be seen as any kind of fiction that is set in a chosen country, culture or a combination of several countries and cultures.
I’ve spent a year in Laos. It’s not a very long time to spend in a country, but perhaps enough to learn a bit. After doing some research, I learned that there are some novels set in Laos. Crime fiction, of all the genres. If someone would’ve asked me to guess the genre/genres of novels set in Laos in advance, I never ever would’ve picked crime fiction. I’m not sure which category I would’ve chosen, but crime fiction – no way.
And it’s not just one book, it’s many. A series of crime novels, written by Colin Cotterill. I haven’t read the books yet, but I’m considering (crime fiction not so much my cup of tea). Perhaps the streets of Vientiane would look different after getting to know Dr. Siri Paiboun, so I’m tempted.
What is your favourite piece of travel fiction? So far my favourite has been The History of Love. I read it while I was, for the first time, travelling on my own for a few weeks.
♥ In the meantime: I have to admit that I too am slightly surprised of the Greek decision on organizing a referendum on the bailout package. I mean, did anyone see that coming?
♠ Song of the day: The Kings Chamber Orchestra, Knowing You