Irish Times journalist Rosita Boland launches new book

‘Elsewhere’ characterised by colleague Róisín Ingle as work fuelled by a ‘curious mind’

Irish Times journalist Rosita Boland with Roísín Ingle at the launch of her new book Elsewhere outside Hodges Figgis book shop. Photograph: : Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Irish Times journalist Rosita Boland with Roísín Ingle at the launch of her new book Elsewhere outside Hodges Figgis book shop. Photograph: : Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

 

Thirty years of travel diaries from Guatemala to Antarctica have come to life in Irish Times journalist Rosita Boland’s new book, Elsewhere.

Instead of taking photographs, she transcribed her thoughts and stories from each place but also kept paper memorabilia, such as ticket stubs, napkins and passports. The diaries have ended up as a collection of essays about her travels and the memorabilia has made it on to the front cover of the book.

Boland was named Journalist of the Year in 2018 for her interview with Ann Lovett’s boyfriend, Ricky McDonnell, and has had two books of poetry and two non-fiction books about Ireland published.

“A book about travel for people who think they don’t like travel books,” is how fellow Irish Times journalist Róisín Ingle described it at the launch in Dublin on Thursday.

“This is the golden age of essay writing in Ireland and it is being spearheaded by women. What they all have in common is strong female voices telling their truths and Rosita is now joining that canon and doing it in her own inimitable way,” said Ingle.

The book begins with the German word Fernweh, a longing for far-off places and each is “fuelled by her curious mind and desire to get off this island”.

Ingle said the the writing is “stunning, exhilarating and sometimes disturbing” and that readers will feel like they are on her shoulder as they read it.

“Her description of a 1995 bus trip along a highway in Pakistan around hairpin bends on unsurfaced tracks hundreds of meters above the river gave one reviewer vertigo, nausea and jelly legs. Reading this book feels like you’re there with her every step of the way,” she said.

Boland dedicated the book to her niece and goddaughter Lucy Corcoran.