by Steve Donoghue
“I decided to become adventurous through sheer will,” writes Andrew Solomon at one point in his new book Far & Away. “Unlike the majority of people, who grow steadily more cautious as they get older, I’ve become less and less constrained in adulthood.”
Long before Solomon began getting travel assignments as a freelance writer and reporter, he was already a student traveler to many countries (the cover of Far & Away includes a photo of the author as little more than a boy, wavy-haired and wide-eyed in front of a tank), and once he began writing for the New York Times Magazine in the 1990s and New Republic and Travel & Leisure and Esquire and The New Yorker and other venues, the ambit of his travels expanded to encompass the entire world, from Taiwan to Libya, from Ecuador to Moscow. Far & Away is a big, sumptuous collection of those pieces of reportage and travel writing.
…Solomon is foremost a keenly sympathetic observer; in every one of these reprinted pieces, he’s carefully watching the everyday people on whose homes and plights he’s also reporting… [P]revailing mood is a smart, detail-oriented exuberance; this is a shrewd and generous view of the world as few people get to see it.
(To read the full review, please visit The Christian Science Monitor.)