A Book of Encounters
By Jan Morris
W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393076400, 202pp.
Publication Date: April 19, 2010
List Price: $23.95*
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With her travel chronicles unparalleled in twentieth-century literature, Jan Morris's legendary books on Venice, Manhattan, and Trieste have made her one of our most beloved writers. Now reflecting back on over half a century, Morris has decided to write not about the destinations but about the people she has encountered. Whether writing as James or later as Jan, Morris introduces us to a panoply of memorable characters the Sherpa guide who first scaled Mt. Everest, the lascivious Manhattan cabbie, and the proverbial spy in the raincoat. She provides insightful portraits of the famous, such as Harry Truman and Jordan's King Hussein, and glimpses of the infamous, including Adolf Eichmann. Recalling human encounters on six continents, she paints a vibrant, funny, and moving picture of humanity. Ultimately, no figure comes into clearer focus than Morris herself, an astonishing chronicler of the human spectacle. Contact is one book you ll want to carry with you wherever you go.