Bruce Chatwin

Your home for news on Bruce Chatwin and literary travel.

Off the beaten track

A recent BBC feature addresses the perpetual question addressed at travel writing: does it matter if it's true or not?

"Many bestselling and award-winning travel writers have turned out to be distinctly unreliable narrators. Should we file their books under fact - or fiction? And do readers really care?
Made-up characters, placing themselves in the thick of it when they were not actually there, embroidering reality - these are just some of the charges that have been made against writers including Patrick Leigh Fermor, Norman Lewis, and Bruce Chatwin since their deaths."
There are no surprises, but it nonetheless goes to show that – more than thirty years after In Patagonia – no real consensus has been reached over what the incumbent responsibilities are of those who write of travel.