‘If you stay at home, read the best travel books, and watch TV selectively, you can have nearly all the pleasures of travel without ever having to stand in line at the check-in counter. A flick of the page, and you are off that Patagonian Express and on to that Mississippi barge – pour yourself a coffee and there is the Snow Leopard before your eyes – a martini or two, and all the sensualities of the East will be there around you, scented and salacious in your very apartment! (Almost all, anyway.)
Great minds have been fostered entirely by staying close to home. Moses never got further than the Promised Land. Da Vinci and Beethoven never left Europe. Shakespeare hardly went anywhere at all – certainly not to Elsinore or the coast of Bohemia. Actually, there is a great deal to be said, even by a professional travel writer like me, against travelling at all.’ Jan Morris.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection.