An exploration of the landscape around a remote Cornish farmhouse, a study of the role of lemons in the Italian cultural landscape, and an account of life below deck on giant container ships are among the books shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year shortlist.
Stanfords relaunched the Dolman Travel Book of the Year prize under a new name this year, doubling its prize money to £5,000, and also creating a new award for travel writing.
The six shortlisted authors and books for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year were announced at a ceremony last night (2nd July) at Stanfords in Covent Garden.
They include Philip Marsden’s Rising Ground (Granta), an exploration of the landscape around his remote farmhouse in Cornwall, which was also nominated for the Wainwright Prize earlier this year.
Granta also has a second book on the shortlist - Elizabeth Pisani’s Indonesia Etc., a revelatory account of Pisani’s travels in Indonesia.
Helena Attlee’s The Land Where Lemons Grow (Penguin) is an exploration of the role of lemons in the Italian cultural landscape, while Horatio Clare’s Down to the Sea in Ships (Vintage) is an embedded account of life below decks on the giant container ships of our era.
Joining them on the shortlist are Nick Hunt’s Walking the Woods and the Water (Nicholas Brealey Publishing), which is a contemporary retracing of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s journey from the Hook of Holland to the Golden Horn; and Jens Muhling’s A Journey into Russia (The Armchair Traveller at the BookHaus) is about the mindscape of modern Russia.
Speaking at the shortlist announcement, chair of judges Barnaby Rogerson, said: “We want the winner of the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year to be able to showcase the continued point, purpose and glory of travel writing. These six authors, through their style, humour, veracity and commitment have proven themselves exemplars of this Stanford Dolman spirit.”
Chris Schuler, chairman of the Authors’ Club which administers the prize, said: “We are greatly impressed by the quality and breadth of this year’s shortlist, which demonstrates that this inspirational genre is in vigorous health.”
Tony Maher, m.d. of Stanfords, said he was “thrilled that the judges have produced a list that really does have something for every reader”.
Maher also called on booksellers and the public to nominate the living travel writers who they believe have most contributed to the genre for the Stanford Dolman Award for Outstanding Contribution to Travel Writing.
“We want to hear from readers who they feel have made travel writing what it is today,” he said.
Nominations for the award should be tweeted using the hashtag #ShowedMeTheWorld.
The suggestions will be used to create a longlist, with a panel of retail partners from Waterstones, Daunts, Blackwells, Booka Bookshop, Storytellers Inc, Caxton Bookshop, Chorleywood Bookshop, and Hungerford Bookshop choosing the winner.
The winners of both awards will be announced on 28th September at a ceremony at the National Liberal Club in London.
The Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year winner will also get a specially commissioned globe by master globe-makers Lander & May of the Isle of Wight.