When the fictional and non fictional worlds collide

If travel be the food of love, read on…..


Whether you wish to visit a place where an author has set their books, or the places where he or she grew up, then literary travel is for you. From Poldark’s Cornwall to Charles Dickens’ London, there are plenty of places and museums to visit and indulge your senses.

There are places now that I associate with fictional happenings however that I can not see them in a ‘normal’ light now, nor would I want to, for they are the place where I have walked, talked, met, dined and following in the footsteps of my favourite characters.

Fictional stops  – Colombia and France….


ChroicleGarcia Marquez, a giant of Spanish language fiction sets his stories in the fictional town of Macondo thought to be inspired by his real home of Aracataca in Colombia. Having read his novels set there, I only wish it were possible to visit for real (maybe with his magical realism I will be able to one day)

However, it was the village in Chronicle of a Death Foretold where I really wanted to go, in order to run and find Santiago and warn him of what was to come. This novel is set in a small fictional Colombia coastal town but the story was inspired by events in Sucre, Colombia that the author had heard about as a family he and his family knew were involved in similarly chilling events.

Paris  – St Sulpice

da-vinci-code2Just what is the power of fiction? Can fictional worlds and non fictional worlds ever be confused? Well the moment I visited Saint Sulpice I realised that yes they could….

Visitors from all over the world would come here and sit and trace their hands along the Rose line looking for the break where Silas had smashed his way through the floor …. of the hordes of tourists who would sit near the upside down pyramid of the Louvre…

World literature  – books set in iconic settings all over the world really can blur the line between real and fictional worlds. And that’s the best kind of literary travel there is.


Read this sign that the Church had to place inside close to the place where all the Da Vinci fans would go to visit….

Back Camera

Non fictional stops:


Dan Boothby and the Island of dreams

book onePlaces inspired writers and inspire other writers to go there too. Kyleakin Lighthouse, for example in Scotland is the island where Gavin Maxwell once lived. He was the author of  A Ring of Bright Water– a captivating story about his relationship with three otters and the enchanting landscape of the Scottish highlands. Dan Boothby followed him in his footsteps and wrote his own diary of life there and the Maxwell effect……


Food and a love of Iran

Jennifer Klinec is the author of  ‘The Temporary Bride’ in which she details her travels to Iran to learn about the food and the culture there. What she ends up temp bridgediscovering however is much more complex and unexpected entirely..

It’s the a story about love in so many ways – the love of food, the love and respect she has for Iran and a curiosity to get right under the skin of a fascinating country and its people. She is no naive traveller, she is rather a travelling ambassador of sorts who aims to discover the gems that are tucked away in family homes, markets, shops and steeped in tradition.



Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Colombia

“The brothers were brought up to be men. The girls were brought up to be married.

This quote for me illustrates the powerlessness of women and the importance of cultural traditions described in the book in a sharp and extremely vivid way. The fate of women and their changing role in society as a whole are subjects i find very interesting. As Garcia Marquez was already one of my favourite authors, I decided to read this one.

Angela Vicario is the main woman character in this novel. She is due to be married but on her wedding night her husband discvers she is not a virgin so he ertunrs her to her brothers house. The two brothers then track down the man she says took her virginity and she gives them the name of Santiago Nasar. The brothers then set out to kill him, telling people of their plans. Everyone knows, including the reader that they will see their plan through.

Garcia Marquez writes a lot about women as a whole in most of his books and he particulary describes how things such as courtship, is not such a simple thing in some countries as in others. It is symbolic in his works as a way of demonstrating the man’s affluence and power rather than to see the lovers fall deeper in love.

I found this book fascinating for its treatment of women and loved becoming involved in the Colombian world of Marquez. His descriptions were so vivid and the magical realism so captivating, that I thought I was there, right in that seaside town. Its supposedly based on the real town of Sucre (sugar in Spanish) and Marquez is said to have returned there to investigate a murder committed 20 years previous. So the novel could be seen as a journalistic account of events in the town and so making its treatment of women even more real.