Sunday, May 18, 2008
TRAVEL WRITING WITH THOMAS KOHNSTAMM
AT THE AUCKLAND WRITERS & READERS FESTIVAL
This author found himself in serious hot water recently when he was accused of plagiarism and writing about places which he had not actually been to.
He suggested to his audience that they read his book rather than the newspaper quotes and then decide for themselves whether the criticisms had foundation.
The first part of the hour, ably chaired by Paula Morris, her third outing as a chair at the Festival, took the shape of a lecture and was not terribly effective as Kohnstamm really tried to say too much in the time he had available and read rather quickly from his notes.
However when he sat down and Morris interviewed him he came into his own and was most interesting especially when talking of the impact of travel and tourism in developing countries, the economics of travel publshing, the highs and lows of being a travel writer, the travel guide in book form v the internet, image v reality.
When it came for time for questions from the audience, and there were plenty, he gave very full and honest replies.
I bought his book afterwards, Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?, so I will write again about the author and his book once I have read it.