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Bad Tourist

Misadventures in Love and Travel

Suzanne Roberts

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 10/2020
Pages: 272
Subject: Biography and Autobiography
eBook ISBN: 9781496223968


Both a memoir in travel essays and an anti-guidebook, Bad Tourist takes us across four continents to fifteen countries, showing us what not to do when traveling. A woman learning to claim her own desires and adventures, Suzanne Roberts encounters lightning and landslides, sharks and piranha-infested waters, a nightclub drugging, burning bodies, and brief affairs as she searches for the love of her life and finally herself.                Throughout her travels Roberts tries hard not to be a bad tourist, but owing to her cultural blind spots, things don't always go as planned. Fearlessly confessional, shamelessly funny, and wholly unapologetic, Roberts offers a refreshingly honest account of the joys and absurdities of confronting new landscapes and cultures, as well as new versions of herself. Raw, bawdy, and self-effacing, Bad Tourist is a journey packed with delights and surprises—both of the greater world and of the mysterious workings of the heart.  


Suzanne Roberts is the author of Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail (Nebraska, 2012) and four collections of poetry. She was named the Next Great Travel Writer by National Geographic's Traveler, and her work has been published in Best Women's Travel Writing and listed as Notable in Best American Essays. She teaches for the low-residency MFA program in creative writing at Sierra Nevada University. Visit her website:  


"I love travel, armchair and otherwise, so I knew it would be a pleasure letting Suzanne Roberts take me around the world on a shoestring, from India's Grand Elephant Festival, to the steppes of Mongolia on the trail of Genghis Khan, to the cool tiles of another one-star bathroom wondering if this would be the time she'd puke herself to death. Even more satisfying are her honesty, courage, and eventual clarity as she tackles her own understories—family dysfunction and alcoholism, internalized misogyny, and what the climate catastrophe means for the travel addicted among us—combining these essays into a thoroughly relatable journey of the heart."—Pam Houston, author of Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country  

"If Michel de Montaigne and Chelsea Handler could get together in a bar in some far-flung part of the world and get good and drunk, they might dream up a book like this. This is not your parents' travel writing! If you're thirsting for a literary triple shot of sex, booze, and misadventures, Bad Tourist is your passport to a trip you won't want to come home from."—Michael P. Branch, author of Rants from the Hill and How to Cuss in Western

"Bad Tourist makes beautiful the absurdity and heartbreak accompanying us whenever we leave home. Roberts's intimate, fiercely honest narrative voice imbues these realities with grace and demonstrates just how much is to be gained by living a life in the present tense."—Kathryn Miles, author of Quakeland: On the Road to America's Next Devastating Earthquake