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Saudade: The Possibilities of Place is a collection of fascinating stories of Anik See’s travels across the world. Her style, a stream of consciousness writing, has amazing anecdotes and a wisdom that I have never read before. Through Anik, I can travel vicariously to the places she has travelled like Yellowknife, Cuba, and Amsterdam, and gain the wisdom she attained along her travels. Anik’s stories are wonderful and her thoughts are refreshing. In “The End of Dirt Road on a Detour to Darwin” she concludes the trip from hell–a very empty, middle of nowhere place with not much-to-do circumstances in Australia–was actually a beautiful and humbling experience. “Karumba was beautiful because it was ugly. It was beautiful because it was real. There was no make-up, no shininess to it. It was entirely raw. There was no pretense. It was beautiful because it was sad, and it made me question subjectivity and my judgment of a place like this.” It’s a foresight I never considered. The word Saudade is Portuguese and means a nostalgic longing for something that may or may not return. It’s a fitting description for this very intimate travel journal. (Andrea Nene)

by Anik See,189 pgs., Coach House Books, 401 Huron St rear on bpNichol Lane, Toronto, ON, M5S 2G5, $18.95

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