Kira Brunner Don, editor in chief of Stranger’s Guide, and Alta Live host Beth Spotswood gave Alta Live viewers an inside look at Stranger’s Guide’s latest issue, all about the Golden State. The guide combines opinion pieces and articles with photo essays and fiction from contributors like Bryant Terry, Svet Jacqueline, and Matt Black. “We’re not a traditional travel magazine in the sense that it’s not about where to stay or what to eat or what to do—there’s like a million apps that tell you that,” Brunner Don explained. “This is much more about the place itself.” She said that 80 to 90 percent of the writers who contribute to any given guide are from the place the guide covers. Thus, a big part of Brunner Don’s job is recruiting voices from the locations Stranger’s Guide chooses, which have included Tehran, Lagos, and Mexico City
Each quarterly Stranger’s Guide issue is a bespoke keepsake packed with ruminations, examinations, and intimate visuals all focused on place. The guides are intended to be collected and treasured, more akin to a coffee-table book than a future resident of the recycling bin. When Spotswood asked what Brunner Don hoped readers would take away from the guides, she replied, “I hope that they would take away curiosity for the world. I think that in this day and age of ‘America first,’ we seem to think of ourselves and prioritize our own perspective, and actually forcing your mind to see a country from the perspective of the people who live there,…not just necessarily the outside gaze but [to] really see what’s happening inside and in another place, allows us to expand our curiosity towards other people.”
Check out these links to some of the topics Brunner Don and Spotswood explored.
- Buy the American West bundle, including the Summer 2021 issue of Alta Journal and Stranger’s Guide’s California edition, for a discounted price.
- Read the Stranger’s Guide issues on cities, countries, and regions including Tehran, Ireland, and Lagos.
- Check out a photo essay on firefighters battling wildfires in Northern California, published by Stranger’s Guide in its California guide.
- Read an early vignette by Gabriel García Márquez on life in Bogotá, translated by José Vargas and published by Stranger’s Guide in its Colombia guide.•