Writing. Such an odd, solitary, snail-paced way to engage with the world, or live trying. At the Brooklyn Book Festival I went to this past weekend, one panelist described writing as "hellish good fun." Elif Batuman, another panelist (and a nonfiction writer I admire), recalled those scenes in "Sex and the City" in which Carrie, a writer, languidly completes her under-deadline column while eating ice cream in bed. "I mean, that's completely antithetical to the spirit of writing," said Batuman, only sort of joking. Panelist and legendary journalist Renata Adler, her signature braid slung over her shoulder, noted that the only reward a writer can ever hope for upon finishing a piece is "the calm good conscience of some limited achievement." Yes, indeed.
So when you wake up one morning to learn that your essay has been listed as a notable selection in Best American Travel Writing 2015, you know the achievement may be limited, but the ice cream is deserved. Big thanks once again to The Georgia Review for believing in (and publishing) my travel piece "Lands of Lost Borders," and to the Best American series for taking note of it. You can read the essay online, if you're so inclined, here.