Travel writing series turns its attentions to Prague and the Czech Republic

"Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic" is the name of a new book which has just been launched in the United States. It features - as do all the books in the "Travelers' Tales" series - the work of a number of writers of varying backgrounds, including a couple of very well known names. One of its editors, David Farley, discussed the new publication with me on the phone from New York.

"They're more like literary non-fiction of sorts. A lot of them are quite personal, more kind of short memoir pieces."

Among the authors I see is Ivan Klima - how did you get him involved?

"I co-edited the book along with my wife, and we needed someone to write the foreword. He was one of the first people we thought of because we both really like his writing a lot. It was a friend in Prague, who also contributed to the book, a guy named Richard Katroviz, and he knows Klima and asked him for us. He agreed, which was great."

The other authors include Paulina Porizkova, the Czech-born 1980s model - how did she get involved?

"She's a friend of ours, actually, here in New York. She's actually writing a novel and it's quite good, and certain to be published. So she's writing anyway and we asked her. She also wrote a really great piece about leaving the country in the early '70s as a little girl, and the times that she returned over the years and how every time she came back everything had changed, quite rapidly. It's a really great story."

Tell us about some of the other writers and themes in the book.

"We have a great story from a guy named Brad Wetzler who was an editor at a magazine called Outside, which is a travel or adventure travel magazine, and it's about the institution of tramping in the Czech Republic, and it's a really great story..."

I should point out that tramping is people dressing up in military outfits and sleeping in the woods and singing around the campfire.

"Yeah, exactly, it's a hilarious story. And Jan Morris - who is quite a well known writer and extremely prolific, she's been writing for around 50 years now - wrote three slightly connected vignettes about her experiences in Prague that's really nicely written.

"And much to my surprise when I approached to some of the better known writers to contribute to the book, they wrote for us or gave us original stories that had never been published. So that was really great."

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