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Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere is a beautifully written tribute to the truly unique city of Trieste from Jan Morris, the bestselling author of Venice and the Pax Britannica Trilogy.

About the Author

Jan Morris was born in Somerset in 1926 and received her B.A. in 1951 and her M.A. in 1961, both from Christ Church, Oxford. Dubbed the 'Flaubert of the jet age' by Alistair Cooke, and 'perhaps the best descriptive writer of our time' by Rebecca West, Jan Morris has written studies of Venice, Oxford, Manhattan, Sydney, Hong Kong, Spain and Wales. She is the author of the Pax Brittanica trilogy about the British Empire, two autobiographical books, six volumes of collected travel essays and a novel.


An opening quote from Wallace Stevens "I was the world in which I walked, and what I saw or heard or felt came not but from myself" sets the tone of this philosophical travel memoir. Morris, who has declared this book her last, is the author of more than 30 books (e.g., Last Letters from Hav), an honorary D. Litt. from the University of Wales, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In this love letter to Trieste a city she has grown to love over the years and never got tired of exploring Morris looks back on her life. She recalls first coming to Trieste as a soldier [male] in World War II and discusses the impact the city's way of life has had on her own philosophy of life. Each chapter begins with a philosophical quote stating its theme and setting the atmosphere. Morris is not only skilled at vividly describing townspeople and buildings in a way that brings Trieste to life, but she also successfully balances the personal with the historical by providing references to both history and literature. Intriguing and fun to read, this is recommended for public libraries. Stephanie Papa, Baltimore Cty. Circuit Court Law Lib., MD Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

With fluid, expressive prose, Welsh writer Morris (Lincoln) delivers an intriguing vision of the small seaside Italian city of Trieste. In an account that is part detailed history, part melancholy remembrance, Morris offers a vivid and loving description of a place and an eloquent reflection on growing old. In this slim volume, supposedly Morris's last, the author brilliantly weaves historic and personal memories (as the soldier James Morris, before her sex-change operation, she was stationed there during WWII), observations on love, lust, nationalism, exile and kindness, and a tender portrait of the oft-forgotten city. From glory to exile, from affluence to desertion, Morris shares the city's triumphs and hardships as one would the life story of an old and well-loved friend with affection, respect and a cheerful acceptance of little personality quirks. Tossed between Italy, Austria, Yugoslavia and finally back to Italy, Trieste, once one of the greatest port cities in the world, is now a sleepy town on the "end of its Italian umbilical." Morris writes, "So it is with me, after a lifetime of describing the planet, and I look at Trieste now as I would look into a mirror.... Much of this little book, then, has been a self-description." Populated with the well-drawn ghosts of such luminaries as James Joyce, Sir Richard Francis Burton and other "exiles" who made the city their home for a time, Morris's "little book" is as exuberant as it is bittersweet, as resigned as it is wistful. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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