Tender Maps: Travels in Search of the Emotions of Place (paperback)


What do we mean when we talk about atmosphere? A unique piece of travel writing weaving memoir, literature, art and psycho-geography.

‘A compelling way of looking at the world.’


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What do we mean when we talk about atmosphere?

Some travellers are driven by the need to scale a natural wonder, to see a city’s sights or a place of history. Others, like Alice Maddicott, travel in search of a particular scene, feeling or atmosphere, often inspired by music, literature and art. Taking us deep into our emotional and creative responses to place, this extraordinary book explores the author’s own relentless travelling. From the heat of Sicily to the mountains of Japan, this is a uniquely lyrical approach to psycho-geography.

As Maddicott explores this relationship with landscape that is the very essence of human creativity, she transports readers to seventeenth-century salons of Paris and the crumbling balconies of modern Tbilisi, in the company of writers and artists such as Italo Calvino, LM Montgomery, PJ Harvey and Ana Mendieta.

Tender Maps is a beautifully evocative book of travel, culture and imagination.

‘A rich and beguiling work of literary travel memoir that nimbly tracks the wider contours of the world in terms of feeling, memory, introspection and the imagination.’

Travis Elborough, author of Atlas of Vanishing Places


‘A compelling way of looking at the world.’



‘A moving and thought-provoking exploration of changing senses of place over time, in the form of a kind of locography – life-writing through places and moments in place. Tender Maps is part memoir, part travel writing, part group biography, part social history, part cultural criticism. It will transport you to other places and times and leave you reflecting on your own tender maps.’

Polly Atkin, author of Some Of Us Just Fall


Tender Maps is a heartfelt, thought-provoking meditation on the “personality of place” and the profound interconnection between human emotion and the physical landscape. It will enliven your senses and enrich your experience of the world around you.’

Rebecca Lowe, author of The Slow Road to Tehran


‘Intimate, whimsical and utterly magical …  A unique and memorable read, it’s perfect for those who prefer to stray far from the path in hope of falling off the map altogether.’


Read an extract.

Also available in hardback and ebook.