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The Writer’s Map

An Atlas of Imaginary Lands

With a Prologue by Philip Pullman
It’s one of the first things we discover as children, reading and drawing: Maps have a unique power to transport us to distant lands on wondrous travels. Put a map at the start of a book, and we know an adventure is going to follow. Displaying this truth with beautiful full-color illustrations, The Writer’s Map is an atlas of the journeys that our most creative storytellers have made throughout their lives. This magnificent collection encompasses not only the maps that appear in their books but also the many maps that have inspired them, the sketches that they used while writing, and others that simply sparked their curiosity.
 
Philip Pullman recounts the experience of drawing a map as he set out on one of his early novels, The Tin Princess. Miraphora Mina recalls the creative challenge of drawing up ”The Marauder’s Map” for the Harry Potter films. David Mitchell leads us to the Mappa Mundi by way of Cloud Atlas and his own sketch maps. Robert Macfarlane reflects on the cartophilia that has informed his evocative nature writing, which was set off by Robert Louis Stevenson and his map of Treasure Island. Joanne Harris tells of her fascination with Norse maps of the universe. Reif Larsen writes about our dependence on GPS and the impulse to map our experience. Daniel Reeve describes drawing maps and charts for The Hobbit film trilogy. This exquisitely crafted and illustrated atlas explores these and so many more of the maps writers create and are inspired by—some real, some imagined—in both words and images.
 
Amid a cornucopia of 167 full-color images, we find here maps of the world as envisaged in medieval times, as well as maps of adventure, sci-fi and fantasy, nursery rhymes, literary classics, and collectible comics. An enchanting visual and verbal journey, The Writer’s Map will be irresistible for lovers of maps, literature, and memories—and anyone prone to flights of the imagination.
 

256 pages | 220 color plates | 8 1/4 x 11 3/4 | © 2018

Geography: Cartography

Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature, General Criticism and Critical Theory

Reviews

"Gathers intelligently charming meditations from writers and festoons them with map after map after map after map of imaginary, and sometimes non-imaginary, lands. (Only after several days of staring at the beautifully reproduced images did I force myself to read the words, but I am glad I finally did.) I am so enamored of this book that I bitterly resent what takes me away from it, whether that be the need to eat, or sleep, or write this review."

Weekly Standard

"One of life’s great treats, for a lover of books (especially fantasy books), is to open a cover to find a map secreted inside and filled with the details of a land about to be discovered. . . . The Writer’s Map contains dozens of the magical maps writers have drawn or that have been made by others to illustrate the places they’ve created."

Atlas Obscura

"This handsome tome is a pure expression of that love [of maps] and of the interplay between magical prose and imaginary cartography. Sumptuous maps of notable fantasy worlds jostle for space alongside essays from fantasy writers. The Writer's Map charts the landscapes of literary imagination with passion and care."

NPR

"Gorgeously designed. . . This delightful, engrossing exploration is for every reader who's ever admired a book or a map, let alone both."

Shelf Awareness

"Fascinating."

Financial Times

"Nothing less than a writer’s love letter to the map."

Tor.com

"[For] the admirer of beautifully designed books often discovered in childhood and never left behind. . . . the quintessential coffee-table book."

Chicago Tribune

"Lewis-Jones’s beautifully produced compendium takes in everything from Utopia, charted for Thomas More’s satire of 1516, to Westeros, a continent in that swords-and-sorcery series Game of Thrones. It shows how writers of the past created worlds that have inspired writers of the present, from Joanne Harris to Robert Macfarlane. It’s a reminder that a map is far more than a means of plotting a route. Like a book, it can transport you. It can work magic."

Telegraph

"Will delight the most devoted bibliophile."

Globe and Mail

"We’ve hit the jackpot with The Writer’s Map. It’s a delightful collection of all sorts of literary maps . . . The art is the star here, pages and pages of every sort of map you can imagine, reproduced on oversized pages to delight and confound the viewer with their detail and imaginative depictions of a three-dimensional world reduced to two."

Charles de Lint | Fantasy & Science Fiction

"Lewis-Jones has assembled a team of writers and illustrators and asked them to explain in personal terms what maps mean to them, how their love of the things came about and how maps figure in their own work."

Wall Street Journal

"A beautiful book. . . .  Lewis-Jones has crafted an incredible love letter to invention, place, and the art of the map."

Zocalo Public Square

“A visual feast. . . . Offers an enchanting look at the world around us, and the worlds we imagine.”

Fine Books Magazine

"The Writer’s Map allows readers to tour worlds created by some of literature’s greatest storytellers. The beautiful book features a full-color collection of magical maps imagined by a range of authors, from classic novelist Rudyard Kipling to contemporary children’s author Abi Elphinstone. When compiled together, these maps compose 'a curious, creative gathering' any explorer is bound to enjoy."

My Modern Met

"In an age when paper maps feel obsolete, this book by Huw Lewis-Jones is a journey through imaginary worlds."

OZY

"It deserves saying up front: this is a beautiful book. If you run a map library, you should have it in your collection; if you read fiction and are interested in maps, you will find a lot in it to explore."

Nat Case | Cartographic Perspectives

Table of Contents

PROLOGUE
A PLAUSIBLE POSSIBLE: Razkavia Realized
PHILIP PULLMAN
 
PART ONE – MAKE BELIEVE
THE LITTLE THINGS: Mapping Memories
HUW LEWIS-JONES
 
IN FABLED LANDS: Literary Geographies
HUW LEWIS-JONES AND BRIAN SIBLEY
 
PART TWO – WRITING MAPS
FIRST STEPS: Our Neverlands
CRESSIDA COWELL
 
OFF THE GRID: Treasured Islands
ROBERT MACFARLANE
 
THOSE WHO WANDER: Moominvalley and Beyond
FRANCES HARDINGE
 
REBUILDING ASGARD: A Viking Worldview
JOANNE HARRIS
 
IMAGINARY CARTOGRAPHY: Mordor to Mappa Mundi
DAVID MITCHELL
 
TO KNOW THE DARK: With Scott and Kircher
KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE
 
THE WILD BEYOND: Walking in the Woods
PIERS TORDAY
 
REAL IN MY HEAD: Adventures on Castle Key
HELEN MOSS
 
BEYOND THE BLUE DOOR: Routes through Narnia
ABI ELPHINSTONE
 
PART THREE – CREATING MAPS
MISCHIEF MANAGED: The Marauder’s Map
MIRAPHORA MINA
 
UNCHARTED TERRITORY: A Middle-Earth Mapmaker
DANIEL REEVE
 
CONNECTING CONTOURS: Carta Marina and More
REIF LARSEN
 
A WILD FARRAGO: Far-Off Fantasies
RUSS NICHOLSON
 
THE CYCLE OF STORIES: Early Earth and Faerie
ISABEL GREENBERG
 
NO BOY SCOUT: With Swallows and Amazons
ROLAND CHAMBERS
 
SYMBOLS AND SIGNS: On Crusoe and Others
CORALIE BICKFORD-SMITH
 
HALF THOUGHTS: Clangers and Noggin
PETER FIRMIN
 
PART FOUR – READING MAPS
FOREIGN FANTASY: Dungeons and Dragons
LEV GROSSMAN
 
BY A WOMAN’S HAND: Cartographically Curious
SANDI TOKSVIG
 
LANDSCAPE OF THE BODY: Interior Journeys
BRIAN SELZNICK
 
EXPLORING UNKNOWNS: Terra Incognita
HUW LEWIS-JONES
 
ENVOI
NEVER FORGET: The Beauty of Books
CHRIS RIDDELL
 
CONTRIBUTORS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
FURTHER READING
SOURCES OF QUOTATIONS
SOURCES OF ILLUSTRATIONS
INDEX

Awards

World Fantasy Awards: Special Award - Professional
Won

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