"A new genre of literature has been emerging strongly in recent years. It doesn't belong automatically on any particular shelf in a bookshop, or to a particular category in a library catalogue. Writers working in this vein are exploring people and places and the relations between them, and in order to do so they combine fiction, history, traveller's tales, autobiography, anecdote, aesthetics, antiquarianism, conversation, and memoir. Mapping memories involves listening in to other people's ghosts as well as your own. Dérive - the French for drift - characterizes this approach, rather than more purposeful terms like quest or research, though memory maps demand processes of investigation and endless curiosity and an impulse towards wonder. Memory mapping grows out of daydreaming, reverie, and the unbidden images that come up in the mind. This is writing as fugue, as enigma variations, as rapporteur of what Antonio Damasio has called 'the movie-in-the-brain', that is, the phantasmic flow of consciousness. A dériveur arrives at 'astonishment upon the terrain of familiarity,' writes Robert Macfarlane, and becomes 'more sensitive to the hidden histories and encrypted events of the city' - or the country."