The Writer's Map
It’s one of the first things we discover as children, reading and drawing: Maps have a unique power to transport us to distant lands on wondrous travels. Put a map at the start of a book, and we know an adventure is going to follow. Displaying this truth with beautiful full-color illustrations, The Writer’s Map is an atlas of the journeys that our most creative storytellers have made throughout their lives. This magnificent collection encompasses not only the maps that appear in their books but also the many maps that have inspired them, the sketches that they used while writing, and others that simply sparked their curiosity.   Philip Pullman recounts the experience of drawing a map as he set out on one of his early novels, The Tin Princess. Miraphora Mina recalls the creative challenge of drawing up ”The Marauder’s Map” for the Harry Potter films. David Mitchell leads us to the Mappa Mundi by way of Cloud Atlas and his own sketch maps. Robert Macfarlane reflects on the cartophilia that has informed his evocative nature writing, which was set off by Robert Louis Stevenson and his map of Treasure Island. Joanne Harris tells of her fascination with Norse maps of the universe. Reif Larsen writes about our dependence on GPS and the impulse to map our experience. Daniel Reeve describes drawing maps and charts for The Hobbit film trilogy. This exquisitely crafted and illustrated atlas explores these and so many more of the maps writers create and are inspired by—some real, some imagined—in both words and images.   Amid a cornucopia of 167 full-color images, we find here maps of the world as envisaged in medieval times, as well as maps of adventure, sci-fi and fantasy, nursery rhymes, literary classics, and collectible comics. An enchanting visual and verbal journey, The Writer’s Map will be irresistible for lovers of maps, literature, and memories—and anyone prone to flights of the imagination.  

The Writer's Map Details

TitleThe Writer's Map
Author
ReleaseOct 11th, 2018
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
ISBN-139780226596631
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Art, Language, Writing, Books About Books, Cartography, Maps

The Writer's Map Review

  • Marc
    January 1, 1970
    This first and foremost seems a coffee table book to look at and marvel: it’s full of imagined maps, old and new, mostly made to accompany stories ranging from Gulliver's Travels or Robinson Crusoe to Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and Harry Potter. Various writers and illustrators testify to their fascination for maps and how they portray the real reality, or the reality of a story. Because that is a recurring theme: reality and imagination are only separated by a vague dividing line, and in many c This first and foremost seems a coffee table book to look at and marvel: it’s full of imagined maps, old and new, mostly made to accompany stories ranging from Gulliver's Travels or Robinson Crusoe to Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and Harry Potter. Various writers and illustrators testify to their fascination for maps and how they portray the real reality, or the reality of a story. Because that is a recurring theme: reality and imagination are only separated by a vague dividing line, and in many cases they run together.Editor Huw Lewis-Jones aptly puts it this way: “Maps are invitations. We can read them, read with them, draw and redraw them, use them, share them, add and alter them, enter into them. As representations, they are always partial, always incomplete, and yet they always offer us more than what is held there on paper alone. Maps begin a story. They send us off on new journeys, set our feet moving and our minds racing. Maps inform us and they encourage wonder. Maps give us guidance and direction, and show us the range of a territory, but they can only ever suggest a greater whole. The rest is up to you”. I think that says it all. So in the end, this isn't just a coffee table book, is it?
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  • Vintage
    January 1, 1970
    This book is enchanting! I love it!I bought it for my son as he loves maps, geography, fantasy, history, imagination and the list goes on.For avid readers of children's literature particularly fantasy and magic (Harry Potter, Narnia, LOTR, etc) the book has detailed black and white and color copies of all the popular maps plus more. I've already found one map The Land of Make Believe map which is so charming and would make a great addition to a child's room.There are chapters from either the poi This book is enchanting! I love it!I bought it for my son as he loves maps, geography, fantasy, history, imagination and the list goes on.For avid readers of children's literature particularly fantasy and magic (Harry Potter, Narnia, LOTR, etc) the book has detailed black and white and color copies of all the popular maps plus more. I've already found one map The Land of Make Believe map which is so charming and would make a great addition to a child's room.There are chapters from either the point of view of the author and how maps from other books impacted their imagination and writing as well as one from the illustrator that created the letters and Marauder's Map for the Harry Potter movies. The details of what was needed to create a magical letters map that was beyond the norm was fascinating.This is one of those books that I want to give to each and every long-time fantasy reader and friend as it has so many old literary favorites as well as new ones you will want to explore.
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  • Matthew Richey
    January 1, 1970
    I became a map-lover at age 7 or 8. I had this old green atlas from the 1970s that I would fall asleep with every night looking at the maps of places I'd never been and wanted to visit and memorizing the countries and their capitals. I also loved road maps. When we moved from Washington to Colorado when I was 10, I loved following our route halfway across the country as we traveled. I would beg my father to drive out of our way so that we could go through states to which I had not yet been; I re I became a map-lover at age 7 or 8. I had this old green atlas from the 1970s that I would fall asleep with every night looking at the maps of places I'd never been and wanted to visit and memorizing the countries and their capitals. I also loved road maps. When we moved from Washington to Colorado when I was 10, I loved following our route halfway across the country as we traveled. I would beg my father to drive out of our way so that we could go through states to which I had not yet been; I remember he obliged me once (but only once). When I was 8 or 9 I began drawing my own maps of made up worlds. The primary reason for doing so was to counteract the sadness I felt because there were no new places on earth to find. I drew and redrew these maps through my teenage years and still have one of them. Reading this book was like returning to my childhood. It's written by a variety of authors, many of them illustrators who draw maps for imaginary worlds or the authors who invent them. The best part of the book however are the maps themselves. Some are imaginary maps of our world drawn in the Middle Ages or the maps of Narnia, Middle Earth, Neverland, Treasure Island and a host of places that I inhabited as a young person and am still transported to as I share these stories with my children. I loved the experience of reading this book and studying the maps. It made me want to return to the maps I drew in my youth. Maybe I will.
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  • Literary Soirée
    January 1, 1970
    I have read a ton in my life but never a book like The Writer's Map, which is a wonder! So captivating to look at and read, this gorgeous book contains the world — literally — within its 167 full-color images. Included are medieval maps and others related to the classics, sci-fi and fantasy, adventure, collectible comics, and nursery rhymes. For readers who fancy maps, literature and high adventure. 5/5Thanks to the author, the University of Chicago Press and NetGalley for the review copy. Opini I have read a ton in my life but never a book like The Writer's Map, which is a wonder! So captivating to look at and read, this gorgeous book contains the world — literally — within its 167 full-color images. Included are medieval maps and others related to the classics, sci-fi and fantasy, adventure, collectible comics, and nursery rhymes. For readers who fancy maps, literature and high adventure. 5/5Thanks to the author, the University of Chicago Press and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.#TheWriter'sMap #NetGalley
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    As a big reader of fantasy fiction, I found this atlas of imaginary lands so fascinating. At the best of times, I get very excited when I find maps in the books I’m reading so to have a collection of the most noted ones in a book is pretty cool. Such incredible and detailed artwork of the maps we found in stories we know and love from Narnia to Lord of the Rings to Moby Dick to Harry Potter and much more. The book gives insight as to how these maps came to be and how in some cases, the map actua As a big reader of fantasy fiction, I found this atlas of imaginary lands so fascinating. At the best of times, I get very excited when I find maps in the books I’m reading so to have a collection of the most noted ones in a book is pretty cool. Such incredible and detailed artwork of the maps we found in stories we know and love from Narnia to Lord of the Rings to Moby Dick to Harry Potter and much more. The book gives insight as to how these maps came to be and how in some cases, the map actually wrote the story which is now a treasured favourite! Definitely a collectable for those who like me, adore ‘bookish maps’.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it!It’s one of the first things we discover as children, reading and drawing: Maps have a unique power to transport us to distant lands on wondrous travels. Put a map at the start of a book, and we know an adventure is going to follow. Displaying this truth with beautiful full-colour illustrati I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it!It’s one of the first things we discover as children, reading and drawing: Maps have a unique power to transport us to distant lands on wondrous travels. Put a map at the start of a book, and we know an adventure is going to follow. Displaying this truth with beautiful full-colour illustrations, The Writer’s Map is an atlas of the journeys that our most creative storytellers have made throughout their lives. This magnificent collection encompasses not only the maps that appear in their books but also the many maps that have inspired them, the sketches that they used while writing, and others that simply sparked their curiosity.Philip Pullman recounts the experience of drawing a map as he set out on one of his early novels, The Tin Princess. Miraphora Mina recalls the creative challenge of drawing up ”The Marauder’s Map” for the Harry Potter films. David Mitchell leads us to the Mappa Mundi by way of Cloud Atlas and his own sketch maps. Robert Macfarlane reflects on the cartophilia that has informed his evocative nature writing, which was set off by Robert Louis Stevenson and his map of Treasure Island. Joanne Harris tells of her fascination with Norse maps of the universe. Reif Larsen writes about our dependence on GPS and the impulse to map our experience. Daniel Reeve describes drawing maps and charts for The Hobbit film trilogy. This exquisitely crafted and illustrated atlas explores these and so many more of the maps writers create and are inspired by—some real, some imagined—in both words and images.Amid a cornucopia of 167 full-colour images, we find here maps of the world as envisaged in medieval times, as well as maps of adventure, sci-fi and fantasy, nursery rhymes, literary classics, and collectable comics. An enchanting visual and verbal journey, The Writer’s Map will be irresistible for lovers of maps, literature, and memories—and anyone prone to flights of the imagination.I, too, love maps and have always been drawn to atlases of all kinds. This one was interesting and I really loved the one of Canada, being a Canadian and looking for books that I have read all over that map. Everyone's story and map read as its own chapter/novella which was enjoyable as it was not one that you had to keep reading on and on like an NF book for it to make sense. In fact, you may pick and chose maps like I did to follow your favourite reads and ignore the ones you loathed. (Hobbits, for me!..sheer torturous books those are)A great book for a book lover and those with cartophilia (aka a map lover).
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  • Pop Bop
    January 1, 1970
    A Very Mixed Bag of "Story-Maps"Read this book blurb carefully - "The Writer’s Map is an atlas of the journeys that our most creative storytellers have made throughout their lives.". It tells you more about this book than perhaps the publisher intended. A great deal of the text, (and there is a lot of text), is by writers and illustrators who share their personal histories with maps - as children, as readers, as "book lovers", as professional writers, and as artists. The book is illustrated with A Very Mixed Bag of "Story-Maps"Read this book blurb carefully - "The Writer’s Map is an atlas of the journeys that our most creative storytellers have made throughout their lives.". It tells you more about this book than perhaps the publisher intended. A great deal of the text, (and there is a lot of text), is by writers and illustrators who share their personal histories with maps - as children, as readers, as "book lovers", as professional writers, and as artists. The book is illustrated with examples - some familiar, some unique, some prosaic, and some odd and lovely - but for the greater part this is a collection of personal essays, mixed up with a rather disordered and idiosyncratic survey of maps in literature and also maps generally through the ages.There are some hits, (the story behind the Harry Potter Marauder's Map or the challenges of creating the various maps used as props in the "Lord of the Rings" movies), and some juvenilia and ephemera that may be of interest mostly to devoted fans of the Brontes, Thoreau, "Pilgrim's Progress", Arthur Ransome, "Treasure Island", Moominland, and so on. Interspersed through this, (the book has chapter and section headings, but they are more poetic flights of fancy than an actual table of contents), are first person testimonials by a wide and varied cast of writers. These bits range considerably in appeal and interest. (I did think it was especially interesting to compare the maps that were doodled by authors with the final maps that were prepared for publication by professional illustrators based on those doodles.)The maps themselves are first rate, and range from the familiar to the odd, with lots of stops inbetween. The appeal of the text varies, and sometimes the contributors lay it on a bit thick. But there is something for everyone, since the list of contributors is rather impressive. You'll find lengthy essays from Chris Ridell, Cressida Crowell, Robert Macfarlane, Francis Hardinge, Joanne Harris, David Mitchell, Kiran Hargrave, Lev Grossman, Brian Selznick, and a host of other contemporary writers with whom you may or may not be familiar. The upshot for me was that this ended up being a quite satisfying, if somewhat haphazard, browsable book. (Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
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  • Nostalgia Reader
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars.A love letter to literary maps, written by 24 writers and illustrators. Each brief essay gives the reader a glimpse into the author’s childhood, creative process, what maps they’ve found to be most influential on their careers as illustrators of maps or authors of books with maps (and oftentimes, both). The essays are complemented by many photos of a variety of maps, ranging from historical atlases to drafts of worlds (including original drafts of Narnia and Mordor) to the final elabor 3.5 stars.A love letter to literary maps, written by 24 writers and illustrators. Each brief essay gives the reader a glimpse into the author’s childhood, creative process, what maps they’ve found to be most influential on their careers as illustrators of maps or authors of books with maps (and oftentimes, both). The essays are complemented by many photos of a variety of maps, ranging from historical atlases to drafts of worlds (including original drafts of Narnia and Mordor) to the final elaborate endpaper maps.Each essay focuses on the author’s personal experience with maps and adventure, and how they morphed that into their creative employment of today. Some focus more on their present works, detailing their processes of how they start mapping before they write (or sometimes the other way round), while others detail their journey through maps of childhood, whether mapping their childhood explorations or losing themselves in the endpaper maps of a kids book.Even if some of the essayist’s names don’t immediately sound familiar, after reading their essays (or their bios), you’ll realize you’ve likely been familiar with their work for quite some time. Although many of their journeys and observations are similar, they each have their own path that brought them to their love of maps today–much like a map itself.While I was hoping for a bit more of a historical bent to the book, rather than personal essays, I still enjoyed the journey through multitudes of worlds and maps, and was introduced to a few new books and maps along the way (most influential find: “An ancient mappe of Fairyland” from Bernard Sleigh).Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy to review!(Cross posted on my blog.)
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  • Kelsey
    January 1, 1970
    Hovering between 3.5 and 4. Absolutely gorgeous book. Some of the essays are repetitive, and quite a few are dismissive of technology. Really loved looking at the maps though.
  • Jeremy
    January 1, 1970
    Alan Jacobs's favorite book of 2018.
  • Sissel
    January 1, 1970
    A delightful book about maps. I loved it so much!
  • The Bookish Hooker
    January 1, 1970
    The Writer’s Map has to be one of the most interesting concepts for a book that I’ve seen in quite some time. Within its pages, the reader is introduced to the great imaginary literary worlds and the maps that inspired them and the maps that came from their stories and descriptions. The book is divided into several section, with each being written by a current author or illustrator. Details are given as to what fueled their love for writing about faraway places or their experiences that led to t The Writer’s Map has to be one of the most interesting concepts for a book that I’ve seen in quite some time. Within its pages, the reader is introduced to the great imaginary literary worlds and the maps that inspired them and the maps that came from their stories and descriptions. The book is divided into several section, with each being written by a current author or illustrator. Details are given as to what fueled their love for writing about faraway places or their experiences that led to their interest in literary maps. The sections hit upon such famous maps and places as Mordor, The Marauders Map, PL Travers London, Treaure Island and many more. I always appreciate a glimpse into the history of books and the authors who write them, so I was fascinated with this unique topic.I do think a physical book would be the best format for this read, as it would enable the reader a better way to really view all of the details in the photos of the maps provided. Overall, this was truly a unique look into both the history of maps and imaginary worlds and, also the stories behind our favorite authors.I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher given in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    We love maps and atlases. We have a very large collection of atlases, and maps adorn most of our walls. Jim likes historical and topographic maps, and I prefer maps of fantasy lands. This gorgeous book, which features all kinds of maps along with essays about them, is the perfect addition to our library, but not one to file; rather, it will stay out, to be savored over and over again.Most of the authors who have contributed to this book report having spent hours in their own childhoods looking a We love maps and atlases. We have a very large collection of atlases, and maps adorn most of our walls. Jim likes historical and topographic maps, and I prefer maps of fantasy lands. This gorgeous book, which features all kinds of maps along with essays about them, is the perfect addition to our library, but not one to file; rather, it will stay out, to be savored over and over again.Most of the authors who have contributed to this book report having spent hours in their own childhoods looking at maps and imagining the worlds depicted in them. I too, spent hours doing so, beginning with maps in The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting. Even today, when I read a fantasy with a map at the beginning, I return to it over and over as I read.The essays in the book are delightful, but it is the illustrations that accompany the text that make this book so wonderful. It includes famous maps as well as idiosyncratic maps that inspired writers, often on two page colorful spreads. For example, one can spend hours examining the details of “The Land of Make Believe” drawn by Jaro Hess in 1930. It shows everything from “Old Mother Hubbard’s Place” to the hill climbed by Jack and Jill. Other landmarks indicate that “Peter Rabbit Lived in This Hole” and “Here the Blackbird Picked Off The Maid’s Hose.” In Huw Lewis-Jones’s own chapter, he opines:“[It is] what is not on the map [that] proves tantalizing. The edges of the maps, the blanks, the borderlands, this is where many writers, myself included, are inexorably drawn. It’s good to head to places where we’re not sure what is going to happen.”I, on the other hand, am drawn to what is included. My favorite maps when I was little were maps from the earliest times that had features like the representations of the four winds in each corner, turtles holding up the world, or dragons in the unknown areas.Lewis-Jones reports that the first atlases were made in sixteenth-century Italy, containing many features from classical mythology, such as a representation of Atlas holding up the Earth. [In Greek mythology, Atlas was a Titan condemned to hold up the sky for eternity. The great cartographer Gerardus Mercator, born in 1512, was the first to title a collection of maps (and a treatise on the universe) as an "atlas." He chose the word as a commemoration of the legendary King Atlas of Mauretania whom he considered to be the first great geographer. This King Atlas was a son of the Titan Atlas but the two myths coalesced.] Individual maps were made much earlier; this book includes a reproduction of Ptolemy’s world map from 1482 - the first to appear in color. The historical maps reveal much about the state of epistemology at the time. We saw some wonderful early maps in the Vatican Gallery of Maps in Rome, and notably they reveal religious conceptions of the shape of the world, with Jerusalem at the center. Lewis-Jones also uses the idea of mapping as a metaphor for the way authors plot out a story as part of their creative process. Readers can often "see" such maps hovering above texts when, for example, they dive into mysteries with red herrings and/or clues strewn throughout the text - these elements had to be figured out in advance, with physical or mental maps carefully followed so both author and readers wouldn’t get lost along the way.Sometimes writers don’t include actual maps in their work, but depict places so real you envision them yourselves, as, Lewis-Jones points out, did Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his poem “Kubla Khan”, which begins: "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. So twice five miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round; And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; And here were forests ancient as the hills, Enfolding sunny spots of greenery." Maps in the book that also have essays about them include Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of Treasure Island, Jonathan Swift’s tales of Gulliver’s Travels, A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh (with maps of the Hundred Acre Wood), C.S. Lewis in The Chronicles of Narnia, the Mary Poppins books by P.L. Travers (illustrated by Mary Shepard, whose father E.H.Shepard had drawn Winnie-the-Pooh), and of course the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The works of some authors have inspired maps to be made by others, like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. As one essay notes, “Each new generation finds its favourite literary maps…”Isabel Greenberg, in her chapter, expresses the opinion:“Maps of places that would be impossible to traverse in reality, or visit, are the ones that are most exciting: Faerie, Heaven, the Constellations, Middle-earth, Earthsea; even old maps of our Earth, long before we knew what lay beyond the fringes of experience. The kind of maps with wide-eyed women blowing winds from the four corners, and shaky, beautiful penned lines. It doesn’t matter that you can’t follow them; in fact that makes them better.”I totally agree. And this book allows you to visit many of those types of maps over and over, via not only the essays but also from the 167 beautiful full-color images. Chapters include, inter alia, not only discussions of grid maps and story maps, but explorations of women cartographers, anatomical maps, maps of other planets, and a survey of discoveries that were made in pursuit of erroneous information on maps (e.g., the discovery of America). Huw Lewis-Jones wraps up the book by discussing the accuracy of Google Earth maps, juxtaposing these maps with the need we retain for “there to be some mystery in the world”:“Imaginary places can offer us new kinds of discovery. Some of the pleasure of spending time with maps comes not only from the idea of exploring areas unknown, but also from remembering that where we stand is just a small part of a massive, and bewildering, whole. Maps remind us that there is so much more out there, and so much more at stake.”Evaluation: What a great gift this book would make to any lucky recipient who still takes time to revel in travels of the imagination. It is true the book primarily highlights works done in the West, and a companion book that would include more diverse contributions and influences would be most welcome. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended.
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  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    Editor Huw Lewis-Jones collects the personal connections, the nuts and bolts of mapmaking, and the history of. Also, a ton of great maps! If you’ve ever dogeared or bookmarked that page in the front of the book, this is for you! It is an absolute joy to discover how storytelling and mapmaking connect and continue to inspire authors.For the full review: https://paulspicks.blog/2018/09/22/th...For all my reviews: https://paulspicks.blog
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  • Etienne
    January 1, 1970
    No really what I was expecting. I would have taken more maps and less writing. This is an interesting concept and the maps are beautiful. Just not necessarily the way I would have done it or wanted it. Good idea but the execution could have been better!
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  • Debbi
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully illustrated but not exactly what I thought it would be.
  • Jim
    January 1, 1970
    Really nice book about fictional maps, map and world making and the art/craft of writing. Doesn't work well on a Kindle (or i don't know how to do it) because the captions and art aren't together. i'll be buying this for a gift. Netgalley was kind in letting me have a review copy.
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  • Cheya
    January 1, 1970
    What a delightful book. Different authors talk about their love of maps and how they’ve used maps in their stories. It will make a great coffee table book as you enjoy looking at the pictures of maps featured on literature. Expect more than a coffee book, though. You’ll want to spend time reading the stories that will increase your love of maps. A great present for Christmas.
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  • Kendra
    January 1, 1970
    A collection of writers', cartographers', artists' and scholars' accounts of maps of fictional places and how maps influence and guide fiction writing. While many of the essays included here are beautifully written and thought-provoking, every contributor is white, and although a few mention historical maps of non-Western places or non-Western influences, almost all of the maps and writers and places they cite are also predominantly white. So although I enjoyed reading about how ancient maps spa A collection of writers', cartographers', artists' and scholars' accounts of maps of fictional places and how maps influence and guide fiction writing. While many of the essays included here are beautifully written and thought-provoking, every contributor is white, and although a few mention historical maps of non-Western places or non-Western influences, almost all of the maps and writers and places they cite are also predominantly white. So although I enjoyed reading about how ancient maps sparked writers' imaginations, how some authors begin by making maps of their new worlds, and so on, I was enormously disappointed in the lack of diversity represented in the collection. Where was N.J. Jemison to discuss the geography of the Broken Earth or the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms? Where was Nnedi Okorafor to write about the worlds of Binti or Sunny's Nigeria? Why weren't Amy Tan or Haruki Murakami or other Asian writers included?In addition, it's pretty clear that this book needs to be read in hard copy to be enjoyed. The Kindle edition I read was a terrible mess in terms of layout and design.
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  • Audrey Adamson
    January 1, 1970
    I'll be honest: I didn't read many of the essays. I found most of them to be more about the authors than the actual maps. There were a few that piqued my interest; Phillip Pullman gave an inside look and the creation of the Marauder's Map from Harry Potter was very interesting. The best part of the book was, of course, the maps. There were many beautiful maps of a variety of real places as well as fictional places. I particularly loved looking at all eh different maps of Yggdrasil. This book is I'll be honest: I didn't read many of the essays. I found most of them to be more about the authors than the actual maps. There were a few that piqued my interest; Phillip Pullman gave an inside look and the creation of the Marauder's Map from Harry Potter was very interesting. The best part of the book was, of course, the maps. There were many beautiful maps of a variety of real places as well as fictional places. I particularly loved looking at all eh different maps of Yggdrasil. This book is beautiful but most of the essays are duds.I received an ARC through NetGalley; all opinions are my own.
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  • Kevin Hodgson
    January 1, 1970
    Maps, stories, stories of writers and maps, of readers and maps, and some of the most beautiful pieces of art you will ever see in. I loved this book and wish I could afford a copy (it’s a loaner from the library)
  • 1b2gmama
    January 1, 1970
    (I was given a free, digital ARC of this book and the honest thoughts & opinions in the review below are my own.)Love meandering down an unknown road? Love a good book whose setting is so very real in your head? Do you miss the days of sitting in the backseat of your parent's station wagon while on vacation and following the multi-day journey in the big car atlas? Do you use your phone's GPS app daily now? Is your house held together with bookshelves of your favorite reads and must reads? If (I was given a free, digital ARC of this book and the honest thoughts & opinions in the review below are my own.)Love meandering down an unknown road? Love a good book whose setting is so very real in your head? Do you miss the days of sitting in the backseat of your parent's station wagon while on vacation and following the multi-day journey in the big car atlas? Do you use your phone's GPS app daily now? Is your house held together with bookshelves of your favorite reads and must reads? If any of those ring true, then The Writer's Map might be just for you.This is NOT "just a book of maps" nor is it to be regarded as an atlas. Instead, The Writer's Map is a literary cartography book woven together with text to allow the reader to dig deeper into the imaginary lands of books they've read or have always wanted to read as well as thoughts and insights as to what maps of any kind offer a person. I was delighted to come across Steven Spurrier's Swallows and Amazons map for the aptly named book by Arthur Ransome as we are currently listening to that audio book for in our homeschool. My favorite map offered in The Writer's Map is the full-color vintage map for Moby Dick. Created by Everty Henry, the map, as told in marginalia of the book, is said to have been created for a printing company to showcase "its high-quality inks", all in the throws of Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab. That map alone is swoon-worthy. As a bibliophile I also really enjoyed seeing the pencil-sketched map in Jack Kerouc's working notes of On the Road. And the bit of trivia about the typing of the book, is quite a gem! It's little things like that that pop up throughout The Writer's Map which make this collection gift-worthy for all book lovers and a resource to refer to again and again. Although I read this book via the free digital ARC provided to me, I will certainly be buying this as an actual paper-pages book! I highly recommend this book for your own self as well as your go-to for gift giving. It would be a boon to every librarian, English teacher, and bookhound. Map enthusiasts would certainly enjoy this for the originality and vast map collection contained within. This is a must-own for homeschoolers as no reading program, language arts program, English literature curriculum, or bookshelf should be without.
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  • Leslie Ann
    January 1, 1970
    A wonderful collection of personal essays describing the impact of maps on writers and illustrators. The book's large size makes for awkward bedtime reading but is necessary for the magnificent, full-spread maps that are interspersed among the essays.Some good quotes: What drives us to explore our world? Why do we tell stories? the reason for both is largely the same. We do these things because we want to know what lies beyond the horizon - in writing terms, what happens next. It is no accident A wonderful collection of personal essays describing the impact of maps on writers and illustrators. The book's large size makes for awkward bedtime reading but is necessary for the magnificent, full-spread maps that are interspersed among the essays.Some good quotes: What drives us to explore our world? Why do we tell stories? the reason for both is largely the same. We do these things because we want to know what lies beyond the horizon - in writing terms, what happens next. It is no accident that 'plot' can mean at the same time the arc of a story, or a chart showing the course of a ship, or the tracing of a map. These things are all interconnected. The idea of movement, of laying out, of following a set path - all these things are part of the language of human exploration as well as that of narrative. Nor is it any coincidence that the best and most well-loved stories are those that reach across the continents of culture, history and time to reveal an essential humanity behind the exotic trappings - the landscape of shared memory, the geography of the human heart. - Joanne HarrisI sometimes seem to myself to wander around the world merely accumulating material for future nostalgias. - Vikram SethA world in which there are monsters, and ghosts, and things that want to steal your heart is a world in which there are angels, and dreams, and a world in which there is hope. - Neil Gaiman
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  • Marc Cooper
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book that needs to be held with two hands. It’s a beautifully printed, heavy thing where the maps provide most of the value. The words (and their authors) are of variable quality, but oh! the maps. The maps printed are not only those from the authors' books, but cover much of printed literature and, indeed, map history. One such is a full page of colour from 1025. It’s printed opposite the map of the Isle of Berk from How to Train Your Dragon.I do think a tighter rein should have been This is a book that needs to be held with two hands. It’s a beautifully printed, heavy thing where the maps provide most of the value. The words (and their authors) are of variable quality, but oh! the maps. The maps printed are not only those from the authors' books, but cover much of printed literature and, indeed, map history. One such is a full page of colour from 1025. It’s printed opposite the map of the Isle of Berk from How to Train Your Dragon.I do think a tighter rein should have been held on the writing in some cases. It’s quite enlightening how many of the storytellers failed to tell a story! That really doesn’t detract from the whole, though; there are less interesting passages in almost every book, but here you can skip over the words while ogling the maps.I am so grateful that this book came to print. It’s a marvellous thing.
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  • Lecy
    January 1, 1970
    This book is so cool. If you've perused a fictional map in one of your favorite novels, this is something you need to check out. Lewis-Jones pulls together a collection of maps from some of the world's greatest stories and shares how they are created and why they help us get lost in these tales. From the most popular of maps like J.M. Barrie's Neverland and C.S. Lewis' Narnia, to various treasure islands and the routes of Viking excursions, he not only shows the published products but also intro This book is so cool. If you've perused a fictional map in one of your favorite novels, this is something you need to check out. Lewis-Jones pulls together a collection of maps from some of the world's greatest stories and shares how they are created and why they help us get lost in these tales. From the most popular of maps like J.M. Barrie's Neverland and C.S. Lewis' Narnia, to various treasure islands and the routes of Viking excursions, he not only shows the published products but also introduces the sketches from his own journal. I particularly enjoyed his look at the middle earth maps from The Lord of the Rings. This is a book I will hang on to and treasure for a long time to come. *Advance copy provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Dan Trefethen
    January 1, 1970
    What a delightful book to browse. It examines a number of imaginary maps (including early ones showing a fanciful version of real geography), but most chapters are written by separate authors discussing their own fictional map creations. Your enjoyment of this will depend upon your familiarity with the authors. However, the book also discusses some famous examples, such as Treasure Island and Lord of the Rings.This is an oversize "coffee table" book, which helps with seeing some of the intricate What a delightful book to browse. It examines a number of imaginary maps (including early ones showing a fanciful version of real geography), but most chapters are written by separate authors discussing their own fictional map creations. Your enjoyment of this will depend upon your familiarity with the authors. However, the book also discusses some famous examples, such as Treasure Island and Lord of the Rings.This is an oversize "coffee table" book, which helps with seeing some of the intricate detail on some of the maps. The two-page spreads are especially impressive. I still had to pull out a magnifying glass on some of the maps, but that was more due to the unusual lettering on the maps or ambiguity of image, rather than a fault of the book.
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  • Tony
    January 1, 1970
    This is a big book, an expensive book; but it's just so beautiful that I couldn't resist it. A collection of articles by various writers and artists - mostly of fantasy - about the imaginary worlds and their maps that they have loved and invented in their own turn. Pages and page of beautiful maps in full colour. From the imagined world of Mappa Mundi and medieval travellers' tales, to Dante's Inferno, Robinson Crusoe's island, Gulliver's travels, Treasure Island, Middle Earth, Narnia, Earthsea, This is a big book, an expensive book; but it's just so beautiful that I couldn't resist it. A collection of articles by various writers and artists - mostly of fantasy - about the imaginary worlds and their maps that they have loved and invented in their own turn. Pages and page of beautiful maps in full colour. From the imagined world of Mappa Mundi and medieval travellers' tales, to Dante's Inferno, Robinson Crusoe's island, Gulliver's travels, Treasure Island, Middle Earth, Narnia, Earthsea, Discworld, and on to the myriad recent fantasy worlds by writers I mostly haven't heard of and certainly haven't read.If this is the kind of thing you love, you'll love this.
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  • Cat
    January 1, 1970
    Absolute pleasure and joy to read this book! I love maps, real and imaginary, and made many when I was growing up. I even created them for my daughter when she was small to enhance Santa letters from the North Pole! This book was a pure pleasure that I can't wait to purchase (I only have a Kindle and it does not do it justice.) I can't wait to get better looks at the maps! But the book it self a wonder! All about the various maps, the inspirations that inspired them, the authors that drew them, Absolute pleasure and joy to read this book! I love maps, real and imaginary, and made many when I was growing up. I even created them for my daughter when she was small to enhance Santa letters from the North Pole! This book was a pure pleasure that I can't wait to purchase (I only have a Kindle and it does not do it justice.) I can't wait to get better looks at the maps! But the book it self a wonder! All about the various maps, the inspirations that inspired them, the authors that drew them, so much wonderful info even map lovers will enjoy them. Great book!I received a Kindle ARC in exchange for a fair review from Netgalley.
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  • Joel
    January 1, 1970
    The level of geekery to this book is high. If you love maps, Get this book. If you enjoy writers/creatives talking about process, get this book. If you want to see a bunch of arcane and archaic pictures of how we used to see the world, get this book. If you like well crafted essays, get this book. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect with this book. Everything about it seemed odd. But once getting lost in the words of trying to find one's place in an ever changing creative landscape, I emerged b The level of geekery to this book is high. If you love maps, Get this book. If you enjoy writers/creatives talking about process, get this book. If you want to see a bunch of arcane and archaic pictures of how we used to see the world, get this book. If you like well crafted essays, get this book. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect with this book. Everything about it seemed odd. But once getting lost in the words of trying to find one's place in an ever changing creative landscape, I emerged blissful. I'll return to this book often enough. Something about the process many of the writers talked about is just what I need to find my own heading in my creative endeavours.
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  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    The Writer's Map by Huw Lewis-Jones et. al. is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-October.This book is split into 4 parts: the concept of imagined lands, then writing/creating/reading its maps. A multitude of authors each contribute about implementing geographic and architectural features into print and their love for exquisite and intricate maps of real and storied places & journeys, such as Westeros, the Circles of Hell, Utopia, Marauders Map, Oz, and real atlases from the 1300s to The Writer's Map by Huw Lewis-Jones et. al. is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-October.This book is split into 4 parts: the concept of imagined lands, then writing/creating/reading its maps. A multitude of authors each contribute about implementing geographic and architectural features into print and their love for exquisite and intricate maps of real and storied places & journeys, such as Westeros, the Circles of Hell, Utopia, Marauders Map, Oz, and real atlases from the 1300s to 1500s. I especially loved Coralie Bickford-Smith contribution on symbolism and the tools & materials used to create maps and give meaning to a book’s world.
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