In A Sense of Place, journalist/travel writer Michael Shapiro goes on a pilgrimage to visit the world's great travel writers on their home turf to get their views on their careers, the writer's craft, and most importantly, why they chose to live where they do and what that place means to them. The book chronicles a young writer’s conversations with his heroes, writers he's read for years who inspired him both to pack his bags to travel and to pick up a pen and write. Michael skillfully coaxes a collective portrait through his interviews, allowing the authors to speak intimately about the writer's life, and how place influences their work and perceptions.
In each chapter Michael sets the scene by describing the writer's surroundings, placing the reader squarely in the locale, whether it be Simon Winchester's Massachusetts, Redmond O'Hanlon's London, or Frances Mayes's Tuscany. He then lets the writer speak about life and the world, and through quiet probing draws out fascinating commentary from these remarkable people. For Michael it’s a dream come true, to meet his mentors; for readers, it's an engaging window onto the twin landscapes of great travel writers and the world in which they live.