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Blog posts of '2016' 'February'

This Divided Island
In the aftermath of the three-decade long Sri Lankan Civil War, journalists, governments and everyday Sri Lankan citizens continue to piece together an identity for the divided island. The long years of conflict between the majority Sinhalese government and the militant Tamil Tigers seeking an independent state ended in 2009 with the government-led annihilation of the Tigers. Travelers to the country today may not always see the remnants of the war, but they would be remiss not to join the conversation about it. New Delhi-based journalist Samanth Subramanian’s new book This Divided Island is an invitation to take part.
An Interview with Simon Winchester
Best-selling writer Simon Winchester needs little introduction to most travelers. Whether exploring the Yangtze River from source to sea,the Oxford dictionary from A to Z, foreign lands from Korea to Krakatoa or oceans from Atlantic to
In Memoriam: Harper Lee & Umberto Eco
The world lost two great authors on February 19, both of whose works evoked the spirit of place, even when the places were fictional, from Harper Lee’s small town in Alabama to Umberto Eco’s complex imagined world of Milan. “The town is not a real town. The characters aren’t drawn from living or dead people. The book is a record of the general spirit of something,” Harper Lee said in a rare interview in 1961. “This was life in the 30s. This is the way it was with children in the South.” Maycomb, Alabama, where Lee’s classic is set, may be fictional, but
Spring Travel Titles
Like many travelers, we’re already looking ahead to spring. Whether plotting your travels or simply hoping for a good armchair vacation, here are some titles to watch for as the weather warms. Why the Dutch are Different. Mingling history with travelogue, English expat Ben Coates speaks to why the Netherlands is such a fascinating country, significant beyond its size. His probing narrative explains the importance of the color orange, the ongoing battle to keep water out, the Dutch love affairs with milk and beer, their attitudes toward nature, their world-famous culture of tolerance and why there are many “nether lands.”
Naples, Italy
Kindly contributed by Bonnie Alberts, who presents this amuse-bouche from the award winning Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples. This new guide to one of the oldest cities in Western Europe shines a light on an under explored city, Naples, Italy. Written by longtime expat Bonnie and fellow authors Barbara Zaragoza and Penny Ewles-Bergeron, who love to wax lyrical about their adoptive city, the Napoli Unplugged Guide will make you feel you’re seeing Naples through the eyes of your best friends.
In Other Words
Language can be seen as a barrier to travel, or it can be part of the adventure. For Jhumpa Lahiri, author of bestselling short story collections and novels like Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake, it is the latter. In her latest book Lahiri abandons not only her preferred genre of fiction but even the comfort of the English language and embarks on a new journey to document, in Italian, the process of learning a language.
Poetic Earth Journals
It's the perfect souvenir: a beautifully crafted diary, chocked full of your personal travel experiences. Longitude is now carrying Poetic Earth journals, gorgeous, handmade leather journals for the traveler. Here are a few of our favorites. For more travel journals, click here. Surveyor Journal. This high-quality leatherbound journal is made in the style of the classic 1840s surveyor's journal (common during the Civil War) with folded cover, cross-stitched binding and two brass latches. Measures 7 x 10 inches. Celtic Tree of Life Journal.
The Expatriates
An American born and raised in Hong Kong, Janice Y. K. Lee offers insight into the island’s expatriate community with her latest novel The Expatriates, the follow-up to her runaway bestseller The Piano Teacher. The novel centers around three women whose lives become increasingly intertwined, a common mechanism in fiction, but one that makes sense in this world where the community is so small that, as Lee writes, “if you go out enough, you will run into every expat at some point in the same five restaurants.
The Geography of Genius
"True genius is inexhaustible," writes Eric Weiner, "the ghosts of Michelangelo and Leonardo and Botticelli and all the rest hang in the air, like a San Francisco fo­g. You'd think it would have burned off by now, five hundred years later, but it hasn't." In his new work of popular journalism, The Geography of Genius, the former NPR correspondent explores seven world cities and explains how genius loci (the spirit of the place) fostered great human achievement.
Cuba