Airplane Mode


This item will be released 01 Aug.

Gorgeously written, with a sharp wit, this is a compelling exploration of travel in the ruins of colonialism, climate change and capitalism.

‘A lively and wide-ranging book … Habib [is a] ruthlessly honest and funny observer.’

New York Times
SKU: 9781914613708 Categories: , ,

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An illuminating personal and cultural history of travel, Airplane Mode asks: What does it mean to be a joyous traveller when we live in the ruins of colonialism? 

The conditions of travel have long been dictated by the colours of passports and the colour of skin. For Shahnaz Habib, travel and travel writing have always been complicated pleasures. Habib threads the history of travel with her personal story as a child on family vacations in India, an adult curious about the world, and an immigrant for whom round trips are an annual fact of life.

Woven through the book are inviting and playful analyses of obvious and not-so-obvious travel artifacts: passports, carousels, bougainvilleas, guidebooks, trains, the idea of wanderlust itself. Together, they tell a subversive history of travel as a Euro-American mode of consumerism – but as any traveller knows, travel is more than that. As an immigrant whose loved ones live across continents, Habib takes a deeply curious and joyful look at a troubled (and beloved) activity.

‘Should be required reading.’

Los Angeles Times