Elsewhere: Rosita Boland takes us to glorious, faraway places

Book review: The writer’s passion for words and travel shines through in this essay collection

Journalist Rosita Boland at the Martello Tower in Sutton. ‘She is a writer who, striking out alone and courageously, learned her trade in the University of Life.’ Photograph: Dave Meehan

Journalist Rosita Boland at the Martello Tower in Sutton. ‘She is a writer who, striking out alone and courageously, learned her trade in the University of Life.’ Photograph: Dave Meehan

I love books that make you reach for other books. Rosita Boland’s Elsewhere made me reach for my battered red Chambers Dictionary within the first few lines of her stunning introduction to nine essays, each of which charts a significant journey from her well-travelled life.

Boland is also a poet and this goes a long way towards explaining her intense obsession with words, “poets are always searching for words that will go deep as wells”.

In the year 2000, Boland set herself the task of reading the 13th edition of the Chambers Dictionary from cover to cover. As she made her way, she collected words which delighted her in a notebook making her “own vade mecum” or guide.

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