The University of Wisconsin Press

Travel / Gay & Lesbian Interest


Good Gay Travel Writing
Edited by Raphael Kadushin

Terrace Books

Arabian nights and Dutch dawns

Living up to its title, Wonderlands comes fueled by wanderlust and features every kind of wonderland. In fact, the collection's contributors—a mix of established gay writers and the best of the new generation—don't settle for the obvious. Focusing on the sheer visceral thrill of travel, the adventure of it, they set out all over the world and always find something unexpected: love, passion, history, themselves.

The result is an anthology of dynamic writing that motivates readers to book their next flight, or at least get them dreaming of other places. And the places are legion. Mack Friedman sets off into the deceptively butch wilds of Alaska. Robert Tewdwr Moss tracks through the back roads of Syria and his own version of Arabian Nights. Colm Tóibín discovers a Spanish Brigadoon, and Edward Field drinks tea with Paul Bowles. For Wayne Koestenbaum, Vienna is both a city of high and low culture, and for Philip Gambone, Asia becomes a place of second chances. Raphael Kadushin settles into the ethereal sun of a Dutch spring, Michael Lowenthal remembers a jarring encounter in the Scottish highlands, and Tim Miller tallies the 1001 beds he has slept in all over the world. And Edmund White, in a classic of elegiac travel writing, recounts his harrowing drive through the Sahara with the man he loves.

Brian Bouldrey, Mitch Cullin, Edward Field, Mack Friedman, Philip Gambone, Rigoberto González, Raphael Kadushin, Wayne Koestenbaum, Matthew Link, Michael Lowenthal, J. S. Marcus, Alistair McCartney, David Masello, Tim Miller, Robert Tewdwr Moss, Boyer Rickel, Bruce Shenitz, Colm Tóibín, Edmund White.

photo of the editorRaphael Kadushin is humanities editor at the University of Wisconsin Press and a contributing editor at Bon Appétit magazine. He contributes to a wide range of publications—among them National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Islands, and Out Traveler—and his work appears in a variety of collections including Men on Men 5, Best Food Writing 2001, and Through the Lens: National Geographic Best Photographs. Kadushin is winner of the 2002 Bedford Pace Travel Writing Prize.

"Ever wondered what traveling and returning home have in common? In his introduction to Wonderlands, Raphael Kadushin writes, 'We're always leaving home because we're partly looking from something else. And usually what we find, in the end, is a gift, a small wonderland that we may only recognize years later, when we're back home, safe again.' Wonderlands is indeed a gift—and one that delivers delights of excursions. Slip into the pages of these exotic travel essays and let this crew of talented gay writers lead you astray."—Roger Harris, Out Traveler

"Kadushin, contributor to National Geographic and other travel magazines, has compiled a collection of tales of journeys to the soul as much as place. Evoking Paul Theroux, Mary McCarthy and Jan Morris, this anthology's best pieces show the depth of personal revelation that attends traveling into the true heartland, be it in Ohio or in Italy. Several are breathtakingly good: Philip Gambone's poignant 'Do You Join in Singing the Same Bigness?' details his stays in China and a life-altering trip to Vietnam; Edmund White's beautifully muted 'Death in the Desert' elucidates the impact of AIDS with haunting clarity during a stay in the Middle East; Matthew Link's exquisite 'No Man's Land' depicts his trip to the literal ends of the earth—Antarctica—in terms befitting Amundsen or Darwin. Other pieces are simply fine: Boyer Rickel's sweetly sexy paean to Italy, 'Reading the Body'; Tim MIller's quixotic '1001 Beds'; and J.S. Marcus's attention-grabbing 'Everywhere.' Not all of the collection has overtly queer themes, and few pieces are truly sexual; there are no tours of gay Amsterdam, the Berlin homostrasses or the bath houses of the tropics. Rather Kadushin has gathered highly disparate pieces, some fiction, most not, which limn the character of traveling, the subtleties and nuance that attend gay men together (or alone, but seeking companionship) in foreign climes and the feel of places, rather than mere descriptions of them. Sharp, gritty and immensely compelling, this compendium breathes with the essence of travel: learning about a place teaches about one's self." —Publishers Weekly

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cover is an evocative photo of a man in Italy

February 2004

LC: 2003021706 HQ
288 pp.  6 x 9

ISBN 978-0-299-19754-4

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