Will Ferguson is the author of four novels, including his most recent novel The Finder. A three-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, he has been nominated for both a Commonwealth Prize and an International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
In 1995 I sold my first travel piece, an article on visiting a Japanese Shinto retreat on Kinkazan Island, to the Daily Yomiuri. Which is to say, I have been working as a travel writer for twenty-five years. Although the industry has changed dramatically, the core of the experience has not: to go out into the world; to remove yourself from the familiar; to lose yourself in a larger context. To be a travel writer is to live in an observer-affected universe, to realize that we are all too far from home, incomplete and searching for something more. Travel writing has its locus in lonely places. When I wrote The Finder, I set out to explore this world through fiction, but it is all based on real people and real places. The following authors, through their travel memoirs, inspired me to keep going. So, if nothing else, they should at least share some of the blame.