BENGALURU: Thomas cook travel book awardee, William Dalrymple best known for his books ‘City of Djinns’ and ‘In Xanadu’ was in town to speak on the ‘Art of Travel Writing’ on February 11, 2017.
Dalrymple is one of the co-founders and co-director of the Jaipur Lit’ fest and has been around in India for the longest time. He shared his experience about how travel writing happened to him and one should bring about a swing if they wanted to be travel writers.
In a world that has drastically changed in about a decade, Dalrymple’s book holds a special value to his readers. His books now hold a special historical value. A historical space is now cramped with building blocks around it.
When asked, how is he a successful writer in India, he said, “You may come to London and see the bridge, the Big Ben, a double decker or a red telephone booth, which I find normal and mundane. But you will find it different, you will find a new space and corner and write a new story about it. It always takes a foreigner to change something.”
Travelling is something that makes someone come alive. Traveling gives you a whole new experience and opens up senses to new culture, architecture, human variety. And to be a great travelogue writer one has to have a keen eye to detail and people.
Travel writing does not just include writing about a place and what you eat, you can consider your experience of talking to people and the difficulty you came across to reach your destination.
Dalrymple’s books are based on his experiences while travelling, which is a whole new level of travel writing.
His books have funny dialogues to emotional situations. For good travel writing skills he also suggests writers to read Amitav Ghosh’s ‘In an antique land’, Pankaj Mishra and Salman Rushdie and find a new angle to their stories.
And for those who want to create a funny side to their stories, he suggests Robert Barron, who has raised a whole new level in travel writing.