Monday, February 25, 2019

The Writer's Map

The Writer's Map (2018) is one of those coffee-table books with lots of colored illustrations. Here the subject is maps of imaginary literary lands. Contributors to the volume include Phillip Pullman (prologue), David Mitchell, and Lev Grossman, and others.  In some ways this book is a kind of variation on J.B. Post's Atlas of Fantasy (rev. ed., 1979), but while Post showed a lot of maps (all in black-and-white) he gave very little text.  Yet his coverage was more representative across the field than is found in the present volume, which seems more scattershot. And the text here is often less illuminating than it might be--most are personal histories rather than in-depth critical articles. Still, for what it is, this is an interesting compilation.

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