Ted Bishop discovered travel writing with Eric Newby’s Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, tried it himself with “The Hawkman of Kandahar,” and has been hooked ever since.
His new book, “The Social Life of Ink,” took him to Budapest and Buenos Aires in search of the ballpoint pen, to China for traditional ink sticks, and to Uzbekistan where he encountered the world’s oldest Qur’an – the blood-soaked Samarkand Codex.
His travel memoir Riding with Rilke: Reflections on Motorcycles and Books was named a Best Book by the Toronto Globe and Mail, CBC’s Talking Books, and Playboy magazine – which called it a “tribute to life, literature, and landscape” (but did not ask him to pose with fellow-Canadian Pamela Anderson who appeared in the same issue). The book earned nominations for the Governor General’s Award, and the Writers’ Trust Drainie-Taylor biography prize. It also won the City of Edmonton Book Prize, the Alberta Writers’ Guild Wilfred Eggleston Award, and the national Motorcycle Award of Excellence (MAX).
He has written about striding in a fashion show (“Strange Tales from the Catwalk”), sliding in an avalanche (“Sluff!”), and dripping enchiladas on an ebook (“Living with the Kindle”). His shorter nonfiction has appeared in the Globe and Mail and other Canadian newspapers, Enroute, Prairie Fire, Cycle Canada, Alberta Views, and Rider, as well as in the collections What I Meant to Say: The Private Lives of Men, Edmonton on Location, and Word Carving. His travel essay “The Hawkman of Kandahar” won the Prairie Fire award for non-fiction, he has received a CBC literary award for travel, and two nominations for National Magazine Awards for his motorcycle essays.
He teaches creative nonfiction, book history, and modernist literature in the department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. As Edward L. Bishop he has edited the manuscript of Virginia Woolf’s first experimental novel, Jacob’s Room for Pace University Press, and published a critical edition of the novel for Blackwell’s Shakespeare Head Press edition of Virginia Woolf. He has also published work on the Bloomsbury Group, James Joyce, dust jackets, archives, and bookstores.