NONFICTION

The Writer's Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands

Univ. of Chicago. Oct. 2018. 167p. ed. by Huw Lewis-Jones. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780226596631. $45. LIT
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OrangeReviewStarThis treat for literature and cartography fans covers the maps that help readers orient themselves to real or imaginary worlds. Authors of the insightful essays, some lengthy, include David Mitchell—a map he drew when working on his novel Cloud Atlas is featured—and Cressida Cowell, whose entry on maps in books such as Robinson Crusoe and Mary Poppins also offers a look at Berk, the location of her children's series How To Train Your Dragon. As well as discussing particular maps and their creation, the volume considers literary cartography generally, with editor and exploration historian Lewis-Jones (Explorers' Sketchbooks) emphasizing that maps help authors to imagine and have in some cases preceded any writing. The text and images present equally stellar quality, with the more than 200 maps (loosely defined; some are maps of the human body, for example) exquisitely reproduced in full color, often covering whole pages or spreads. Lengthy source notes and a thorough index are scholarly bonuses.
VERDICT A must for large literary and cartography collections; a wonderful browsing item as well.

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