Well known Canadian author/biographer Charlie Foran, playing the Literary Tourist, travelled to Wingham, Ontario and environs to spend a little time in Alice Munro country. I talked to him recently about his experience.
Literary Tourists are a hard breed to define. Some like to visit places that appear in novels, others to walk along the footpaths that inspired great poems. Some go on pilgrimages to honour their favourite authors. Others seek out the book itself. They go to rare book libraries and antiquarian bookstores, thrilling to the touch of leather bindings, the feel of letterpress-printed paper, the beauty of woodcut illustrations. Still others love good theatre; they search out live stage performances; many like to hunt down famous living authors, listen to them read, and get books signed.
While there are lots of ways to be a literary tourist, all have one thing in common, and that’s alchemy. Each knows how to mix together just the right combination of literature and geography to come up with the perfect travel experience.