It’s summer, and the wanderlust in my soul is strong right now. I’m thinking of future destinations and their relationships to these warm days when all I want is to explore, to drink rich, sweet lemonade and sink deep into the sun, dive into the ocean and read in wide open, green parks.
So on one hand, I’d like to ask you all about your perfect summer day, and give you a travel destination to go with it. But that didn’t feel like enough this time around. Because, after all, too many of us can’t travel right now, or can’t travel safely, or are much too afraid to consider it any time soon. The pandemic has been difficult, and travel plans hardly seem like the most pressing thing on our plate.
So I decided to do you all one better. I will give you a travel destination. But I’ll also give you a book to pair with it! You could save these to do what I do — read a fantastic book from the country I’m traveling to, like reading some brilliant Catalan books in translation as I wander Barcelona — or you could use them now, dive into them, to get a small taste of that wandering, that need to travel, that too many of us can’t satisfy right now.
So read on: give me your perfect, relaxing summer day, and I’ll give you a travel destination to visit and a novel that will help transport you there.
Here are all the travel and book pairings:
Barcelona, Spain: Nada by Carmen Laforet, Edith Grossman
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories by Mariana Enríquez, translated by Megan McDowell
Mexico City, Mexico: Leaving Tabasco by Carmen Boullosa, translated by Geoff Hargreaves
Lagos, Nigeria: The Famished Road by Ben Okri, translated by Syed Rashid Ashraf
Tokyo, Japan: Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd
Sydney, Australia: The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
Jakarta, Indonesia: Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan, translated by Labodalih Sembiring
Bangalore, India: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara