Walking and writing have always gone together. Think of the poets who walk out a rhythm for their lines and the novelists who put their characters on a path. But the best insights, the deepest and most joyous examinations of this simple activity are to be found in non-fiction – in essays, travelogues and memoir.Read more
Here is a book as certain to lift the spirits as the activity to which it is dedicated: going for a walk. Beneath My Feet is a collection of writings on pedestrianism, shrewdly selected by Duncan Minshull, who, as the editor of two previous books on the subject, is emerging as the laureate of walking.
This delightful, pocket-sized companion is complete with its own ribbon for marking one's path through the book. A walk is very much like the essay, of course. And these extracts meander off the road only to find a point, a vision, a revelation, however transient or airy. In times perhaps more sedentary or even prone than usual, a sweet miscellany like Beneath My Feet helps us start the journey of a thousand steps with a hearty and hale foot forward.
Bellevue Literary Review
Beneath My Feet is one of the best anthologies of writing about walking that I’ve ever seen. Duncan Minshull has done a superb job of conveying the wild diversity that beckons readers who not only love walking but also love to read about it.
John Wilson, The Englewood Review of Books
This volume’s modesty of scale, as it turns out, is a plus. It’s small enough to slip in a jacket or knapsack – a portable book that can, providently, be taken out for a walk. The abiding message of Beneath My Feet is that reading, like walking and writing, is an unending source of surprise.
Danny Heitman, Christian Science Monitor
No one has been more tireless in reviving the history of exhortations to join the “Order of Walkers” than the British editor and BBC producer Duncan Minshull. Beneath My Feet: Writers On Walking gathers 36 testimonies to walking’s invigorating literary power in particular. Writers from Petrarch to Franz Kafka to Will Self have recorded their enthusiasm for, in Minshull’s words, “ambling, rambling, tramping, trekking, stomping and striding.” Higher-quality endorsements of the creative value of walking than these would be hard to find.