Tony Hiss’ 6 favorite travel reads
New Yorker staff writer Tony Hiss shared with us his top “travel” tales — books that have taken him everywhere from Greece to a dystopian future. Hiss is the author of 13 books, his most recent titled In Motion: The Experience of Travel. So, if you’re looking for a good read, here are a few suggestions from a guy who knows a thing or two about good reads:
Adventures in Afghanistan by Louis Palmer (Octagon, $19). Alternately hair-raising and awe-inspiring. Palmer, traveling in the years just after Soviet occupation, is led to thriving (and most of us would say unlikely) modern-day Arabian Nights communities still tucked away throughout Afghanistan. A book that makes you think deeply about the endurance of human values.
Roumeli by Patrick Leigh Fermor (NYRB Classics, $16). It’s impossible to create a list of great travel books without at least one by Fermor, the best of the best. Wherever life takes him, Fermor is the quintessential Deep Traveler, eagerly awaiting whatever will unfold during the day ahead. This book, set in northern Greece, is beautifully crafted, like all of Fermor’s books.
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester (out of print). A nonstop 1956 science-fiction classic so crowded with invention and insight it seems sparkling and brand-new. Among its marvels: an extended meditation on travel—in Bester’s dystopia, everyone can “jaunte” (teleport without machinery), and only very rich show-offs still drive or bike through the countryside.
Read the full list here.