Any island from Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On and Never Will by Judith Schalansky

I’m cheating somewhat with this choice as it’s primarily nonfiction but it does contain a great deal of folklore and each island is written about in the form of an essayistic short story. I’ve returned to this collection over and over during these years of lockdowns, travel restrictions and uncannily empty streets in order to have some kind of astral projection out of London. They are intimate and expansive, reminiscent to a degree of Herman Melville’s short sketches ‘The Encantadas or the Enchanted Islands’, which are rarely mentioned now but also worth a visit. 

First published by Mare Verlag, 2009