Other Routes: 1500 Years of African and Asian Travel Writing

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Travel writing is a genre monopolised by Westerners. For centuries the preserve of Europeans who reported on the "exotic", it sought to make sense of other landscapes and cultures, but almost exclusively through a European prism of references. This anthology, stretching from the fifth to the nineteenth centuries, introduces an entirely different tradition of travel writing - the work of travellers from the world beyond Europe. Other Routes collects important primary work by travel writers from Asia and Africa in English translation. Encompassing spiritual journeys, the personal, ethnography, natural history, geography, cartography, navigation, politics, history, religion and diplomacy, it shows that Africans and Asians also travelled the world and left travel writing worth reading. An introduction by Tabish Khair discusses travel literature as a genre, the perception of travel and writing about travel as a European privilege, and the emergence of new writings that show that travel has been a human occupation that crosses time and culture. Selections include The Travels of a Japanese Monk (c. 838), Al-Abdari, The Disgruntled Traveller (c. 1290), A Korean Official's Account of China (1488), The Poetry of Basho's Road (1689), Malabari: A Love-Hate Affair with the British (1890).

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Signal Books Ltd
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