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Jan Morris

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October 20, 1989 | KEVIN ALLMAN
James Morris established a reputation as one of the world's premier journalists in 1953, when, at the age of 26, he climbed Mt. Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary and filed exclusive reports of the expedition with the London Times. Later, as a staff writer for the Manchester Guardian, he covered the Moscow trial of Francis Gary Powers and the Jerusalem trial of Adolf Eichmann, and began writing the travel essays and historical books that brought him a second round of celebrity.
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BOOKS
November 9, 2003 | Pico Iyer, Pico Iyer is the author of the novel "Abandon" and a forthcoming book of travels, "Sun After Dark."
Someone who was innocent of literary fashion and the hierarchy of genres could easily write a thesis comparing the work of V.S. Naipaul and Jan Morris. Both, after all, are near-contemporaries and fellow graduates of Oxford and the British Empire (albeit on different sides). Both are master stylists, though in major and minor key, who have returned over and over to the same places as if to worry out a conundrum within themselves and in those places.
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BOOKS
July 15, 1990 | CHARLES SOLOMON
This affectionate, somewhat romanticized account of the Venetian Stato da Mar combines elements of a travelogue with social and political history. When Doge Enrico Dandolo arranged the sack of Constantinople by the armies of the Fourth Crusade in 1203, Venice acquired an overseas empire, almost as an afterthought. These islands and coastal enclaves were used to protect the trade routes to the East, but the Venetians proved to be erratic governors.
NEWS
March 10, 2000 | ANTHONY DAY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Lincoln" is British writer Jan Morris' tribute to a nation and its hero. At first wary of both, the author came to admire, and even love, them. For non-Americans, "Lincoln" is an excellent brief introduction to the country's preeminent hero. But even Americans, to whom the suffering, kind and farsighted president is as familiar as a well-remembered grandfather, will find moments of pleasure and insight in Morris' well-written pages.
BOOKS
January 15, 1989 | ALEX RAKSIN
Now that the far corners of the globe have become accessible even to middle-class Americans, travel writing, once concerned with evoking the color, character and spirit of places few would ever see, has often come to do little more than list hotels and restaurants. Jan Morris is one travel writer, however, whose work maintains the vividness and evocativeness of the old tradition.
BOOKS
April 26, 1987 | Jerome Charyn, Charyn's most recent books are "Metropolis: New York as Myth, Marketplace, and Magical Land" (Putnam's) and "Paradise Man" (Donald I. Fine).
Jan Morris' "Manhattan '45" is a delightful crawl through the Wonder City at the end of World War II. The year 1945 wasn't a random choice. The book is about a particular time and place in a very particular world. Morris contrasts the "shimmering, bright, rich and wonderfully entertaining metropolis, and the gray shadowed capitals of Europe." New York was one of the few great world cities that prospered during the war.
BOOKS
November 23, 1997 | RICHARD EDER
Find the right spot as fulcrum for your lever, Archimedes said, and you can pry up the world. In another large prying venture--this one seeking to lever up the meaning of Europe's past and present--Jan Morris sets her fulcrum upon a bollard in the port of Trieste. Why Trieste?
BOOKS
July 9, 1995 | John Keay, John Keay's books include "The Honourable Company" (Macmillan). He is currently writing on the demise of empire in the Far East
Jan Morris began researching a life of Admiral Lord Fisher in 1951. Forty-four years later, having assailed Everest, changed sex, been everywhere, and given us some of the most stylish topographical and historical writing of the century, she finally produces her Fisher-fest. A jeu d'amour , she calls it. If a boyhood hero can still command the affections of a grand and not uncritical lady of letters, that seems about right. It is certainly not the book she would have written in 1951.
NEWS
March 10, 2000 | ANTHONY DAY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Lincoln" is British writer Jan Morris' tribute to a nation and its hero. At first wary of both, the author came to admire, and even love, them. For non-Americans, "Lincoln" is an excellent brief introduction to the country's preeminent hero. But even Americans, to whom the suffering, kind and farsighted president is as familiar as a well-remembered grandfather, will find moments of pleasure and insight in Morris' well-written pages.
BOOKS
November 9, 2003 | Pico Iyer, Pico Iyer is the author of the novel "Abandon" and a forthcoming book of travels, "Sun After Dark."
Someone who was innocent of literary fashion and the hierarchy of genres could easily write a thesis comparing the work of V.S. Naipaul and Jan Morris. Both, after all, are near-contemporaries and fellow graduates of Oxford and the British Empire (albeit on different sides). Both are master stylists, though in major and minor key, who have returned over and over to the same places as if to worry out a conundrum within themselves and in those places.
NEWS
December 10, 1997 | LISA MEYER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
In an empty office near the top of a skyscraper here, a dusty telephone rings. Jan Morris looks at the phone. "Should we take it?" she asks with excitement. The office belongs to a radio station where she has just given an interview about her new book. "Yes," she decides, after the second ring. "Let's see what happens." Known by most as a travel essayist, Morris goes about her work in much the same way. She seizes the moment.
BOOKS
November 23, 1997 | RICHARD EDER
Find the right spot as fulcrum for your lever, Archimedes said, and you can pry up the world. In another large prying venture--this one seeking to lever up the meaning of Europe's past and present--Jan Morris sets her fulcrum upon a bollard in the port of Trieste. Why Trieste?
BOOKS
July 9, 1995 | John Keay, John Keay's books include "The Honourable Company" (Macmillan). He is currently writing on the demise of empire in the Far East
Jan Morris began researching a life of Admiral Lord Fisher in 1951. Forty-four years later, having assailed Everest, changed sex, been everywhere, and given us some of the most stylish topographical and historical writing of the century, she finally produces her Fisher-fest. A jeu d'amour , she calls it. If a boyhood hero can still command the affections of a grand and not uncritical lady of letters, that seems about right. It is certainly not the book she would have written in 1951.
NEWS
August 31, 1992 | CAROLYN SEE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The whole idea of being a "travel writer" is strange, really. You travel somewhere, you take notes, you write your book, and then you travel somewhere else. Your observations are authentic--they must be because you have seen them--but they are limited by time and space and your own literary agenda. Who is the audience for these "travel" books? People who have not been, nor will ever go, to the place in question.
BOOKS
June 21, 1992 | Robert Fulford, Fulford is a columnist for the Financial Times of Canada
There are more French Canadians alive now than ever before, and they possess more wealth and power than at any point in the past; yet their politics is based on the profoundly held belief that they are in danger of disappearing into the fog of history like some preliterate tribe of the Amazon. They see themselves, all 6.2 million of them, succumbing to the demographic pressure of North America and slowly assimilating into the English-speaking majority.
BOOKS
July 15, 1990 | CHARLES SOLOMON
This affectionate, somewhat romanticized account of the Venetian Stato da Mar combines elements of a travelogue with social and political history. When Doge Enrico Dandolo arranged the sack of Constantinople by the armies of the Fourth Crusade in 1203, Venice acquired an overseas empire, almost as an afterthought. These islands and coastal enclaves were used to protect the trade routes to the East, but the Venetians proved to be erratic governors.
NEWS
August 31, 1992 | CAROLYN SEE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The whole idea of being a "travel writer" is strange, really. You travel somewhere, you take notes, you write your book, and then you travel somewhere else. Your observations are authentic--they must be because you have seen them--but they are limited by time and space and your own literary agenda. Who is the audience for these "travel" books? People who have not been, nor will ever go, to the place in question.
NEWS
December 10, 1997 | LISA MEYER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
In an empty office near the top of a skyscraper here, a dusty telephone rings. Jan Morris looks at the phone. "Should we take it?" she asks with excitement. The office belongs to a radio station where she has just given an interview about her new book. "Yes," she decides, after the second ring. "Let's see what happens." Known by most as a travel essayist, Morris goes about her work in much the same way. She seizes the moment.
NEWS
October 20, 1989 | KEVIN ALLMAN
James Morris established a reputation as one of the world's premier journalists in 1953, when, at the age of 26, he climbed Mt. Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary and filed exclusive reports of the expedition with the London Times. Later, as a staff writer for the Manchester Guardian, he covered the Moscow trial of Francis Gary Powers and the Jerusalem trial of Adolf Eichmann, and began writing the travel essays and historical books that brought him a second round of celebrity.
BOOKS
January 15, 1989 | ALEX RAKSIN
Now that the far corners of the globe have become accessible even to middle-class Americans, travel writing, once concerned with evoking the color, character and spirit of places few would ever see, has often come to do little more than list hotels and restaurants. Jan Morris is one travel writer, however, whose work maintains the vividness and evocativeness of the old tradition.
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