What Our Writers Read, Watched and Listened to Before Their Big Trips

Before they’d even arrived, all three of the features writers for T’s Travel issue immersed themselves in the place to which they were going with a number of books, television shows, songs and films. After all, the assignment — to return to somewhere they had once visited as a different person and examine the way the it reflected both their old and new selves — was a true test of memory. The assignment revealed that strange way our minds work: how much music or literature can transport us to a different place and time as much as the destination itself. Who among us can listen to a song that we first heard, say, while visiting Rio de Janeiro years ago, and suddenly smell the salty air of the ocean or see the cramped and enormous city glittering against the jungle? Below, a comprehensive but by no means exhaustive list of what Aatish Taseer, Maaza Mengiste and Thomas Page McBee read, watched and listened to in preparation for their travels. — Thessaly La Force


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