New book: Lights, Camera … Travel!, edited by Andrew McCarthy and Don George ’75 (Lonely Planet Publications)
The editors: A seasoned travel writer and editor, George has edited five previous literary anthologies for Lonely Planet, including A Moveable Feast and The Kindness of Strangers. He is a contributing editor and book review columnist for National Geographic Traveler magazine, special features editor and blogger for Gadling.com, and editor of the online literary travel magazine Recce. McCarthy is an actor, director, and travel writer. He has appeared in more than two-dozen films, including Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo’s Fire, starred in Broadway plays, and is a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler.
The book: When George was thinking about this year’s anthology, his Lonely Planet editor came up with the idea of asking actors to contribute their tales. “I was at first both intrigued and trepidatious,” said George. “Actors telling their best travel stories sounded great – but could they write? As it turned out, they could! I was happily surprised with the quality of the stories and especially with their willingness to write very personally about their lives.” The collection features 33 stories by actors, directors, and screenwriters, including Brooke Shields ’87, who recalls her mishaps in the Arctic while on assignment for Marie Claire; and Alec Baldwin, who presents an atmospheric and heartfelt depiction of life in Los Angeles.
Opening lines: “The premise behind this anthology is simple: since the ancient Greeks, actors have been society’s storytellers. And ever since Hollywood first left the backlot, these storytellers have been traveling to far-flung corners of the world to tell those tales.
“By necessity of the job, and often by nature, these ‘Hollywood types’ are a nomadic breed. Actors travel always with an eye and an ear — sometimes unconsciously, often deliberately — looking for characters, details of behavior, or inflections of voice, that can be logged away, stored for a future date, only to be recalled and employed for a role at the appropriate time.”
Review: The Sydney Morning Herald called the stories in the collection “entertaining, inspiring, and intimately revealing.”
New York event: Don George and Andrew McCarthy are hosting a book reading, including Alec Baldwin and Paulina Porizkova, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m., at McNally Jackson Books on Prince Street.