The first literary pilgrimage I ever made was to Stratford-Upon-Avon. I was twelve or thirteen, traveling in England with my parents, and I remember standing inside Anne Hathaway’s cottage and thinking “Shakespeare breathed inside these walls, he stepped on these floors.” I was awed.

From Dickens’s London, to Hemingway’s Paris, I have always loved traveling through the footsteps of my favorite writers – and I also love writing about these kinds of trips, and reading about the experiences of others, too. Now my favorite column in New York Times Travel has a new book, The New York Times: Footsteps, which collects these literary pilgrimages from around the world. I’m super excited and honored to have three of my essays collected within – L.M. Montgomery in Prince Edward Island, Bram Stoker in Whitby, and Elena Ferrante in Naples – but aside from these pieces, the book features some of the best travel writing I’ve ever read, including Dan Saltzstein on Dashiell Hammet’s San Francisco, Tony Perrottet on Lord Byron and Shelley in Lake Geneva, and Matt Gross on Marguerite Duras in Vietnam. Even if you’re not planning a trip, but merely seeking a bit of armchair escape, this book offers a wealth of inspiration. After all, as Monica Drake explains so beautifully in her introduction, “True literature itself is a flight of fancy,” and this volume is the perfect companion.

I hope you’ll check out the book and pick up a copy for you and your favorite traveler. I’m also delighted to be giving away five copies, courtesy of Three Rivers Press / Penguin Random House. Details to enter are below. Good luck – and may literature always be your guide!


Thanks to Three Rivers Press / Penguin Random House, I’m thrilled to be giving away two (2) copies of The New York Times: Footsteps (open to U.S. residents only).

To enter, subscribe to my newsletter here. (If you are already subscribed, you are automatically entered.) Winners will be selected at random and announced here on May 31.

For a more chances to win the giveaway, visit my author page on Facebook and enter there.

UPDATE: The winners have been notified. Thanks for playing, tout le monde!


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